Upton Sinclair

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pages: 384 words: 122,874

Swindled: the dark history of food fraud, from poisoned candy to counterfeit coffee by Bee Wilson

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air freight, Corn Laws, food miles, James Watt: steam engine, Louis Pasteur, new economy, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair

If Wiley laid much of the groundwork for the 1906 law, the immediate impetus came from a much less probable source—an unheralded novel written by a nervous young socialist named Upton Sinclair. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sinclair’s name is absent from Wiley’s autobiography. Wiley’s part in the story is not yet finished; we will return to him later in this chapter. But the man of the hour in 1906 was Upton Sinclair. It was because of the unprecedented impact of his novel The Jungle that even the most diehard opponents of government intervention in the food business felt cowed into submission. Sinclair brought the public debate about food to such a pitch of anxiety and disgust that federal legislation was the only answer. Upton Sinclair, Th eodore Roosevelt, and The Jungle The Jungle tells the story of Jurgis, a Lithuanian who comes to America with his family to be a “free man,” and a rich one, but who finds himself instead living in the stockyard area of Chicago, enslaved to horrible and low-paying work as a meat packer.

Adulteration on an endemic scale is a disease of industrialized cities, coupled with a relatively noninterventionist state. Britain was the first to acquire these two conditions at the same time, which goes some way toward explaining why we British have—over the past two centuries—endured a more debased diet than other nations in Europe. The United States soon followed suit— with the horrors of the New York swill milk scandal in the 1850s and the gruesome jungle of Upton Sinclair’s Packingtown in the early 1900s. This pattern of early endemic adulteration explains something of America’s predicament with food, up to the present day. For these reasons, the book starts in Britain, in 1820, with a German scientist who had the vision and courage to point out just how bad the swindling had become. 1 German Ham and English Pickles With Bentham bewilder, with Buonaparte frighten, With Accum astonish . . .

For days, he bravely persevered in the blood and the stench, “white-faced and thin,” as he later described himself, but determined to expose the horrors he witnessed. He also interviewed those who knew the ways of Packingtown—workers, doctors, nurses, settlement-house workers—before retreating to a rural cabin to write the book. “I wrote with tears and anguish, pouring into the pages all the pain that life had meant to me.”130 In one of the few things he had in common A poster for the film version of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. with Wiley, Sinclair also saw the fight against adulteration as a continuation of the previous generation’s fight against slavery; several prominent readers compared The Jungle to Uncle Tom’s Cabin for its political impact. Sinclair was not writing with any particular axe to grind regarding the American diet. It was only later that he became a figurehead of the wilder fringes of the vegetarian movement.


pages: 332 words: 89,668

Two Nations, Indivisible: A History of Inequality in America: A History of Inequality in America by Jamie Bronstein

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, blue-collar work, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mandatory minimum, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, moral panic, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, obamacare, occupational segregation, Occupy movement, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, wage slave, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Phillip Deen, “John Atkinson Hobson and the Roots of John Dewey’s Economic Thought,” European Journal of the History of Economic Ideas vol. 20 no. 4 (2013): 646–665, at 657–658. 42. George R. Rising, “An EPIC Endeavor: Upton Sinclair’s 1934 California Gubernatorial Campaign,” Southern California Quarterly vol. 79 no. 1 (Spring 1997): 101–124. 43. Ray Argyle, “The Last Utopians,” Beaver vol. 87 no. 5 (Oct/Nov2007): 42–46. 44. Daniel J. B. Mitchell, “The Lessons of Ham and Eggs: California’s 1938 and 1939 Pension Ballot Propositions,” Southern California Quarterly vol. 82 no. 2 (2000): 193–218. 45. Gaydowski, “Eight Letters to the Editor,” 375. 46. Daniel J. B. Mitchell, “Townsend and Roosevelt: Lessons from the Struggle for Elderly Income Support,” Labor History vol. 42 no. 3 (2001) 255–276. 47. Upton Sinclair, I, Governor of California, and How I Ended Poverty: A True Story of the Future (Los Angeles, CA: Poverty League, 1933), 15; see also Rising, “Sinclair’s 1934 Gubernatorial Campaign,” 105. 48.

After four years of high unemployment, poverty, and suffering under President Herbert Hoover, the nation was ready to experiment simultaneously with banking regulation, large-scale public works employment, agricultural restrictions, and industrial codes. Activists like Francis Townsend, whose ideas shaped Social Security, and politicians and political candidates like Louisiana governor Huey Long (Share Our Wealth) and California gubernatorial candidate Upton Sinclair (End Poverty in California) pushed Franklin Delano Roosevelt to pursue a more radical Second New Deal. The Republican Party, the business community, and the Supreme Court offered their resistance. While the New Deal pioneered some of the programs that helped compress inequality as never before in the following two decades, President Truman’s administration missed the opportunity to pass the Full Employment Act (1944), which would have made employment a right, and designated the government the employer of last resort.

Extended families stretched their resources by crowding into single homes or apartments.14 Over the course of the twentieth century, the opportunities for married women to contribute to the family economy without going out to work dwindled; “among disadvantaged working-class families … male employment became less secure, and the decline in household production left a gap in the family budget that was less easily filled.”15 Muckraking journalists exposed many of the shortcomings of American life. Some were more concerned with political corruption than with corporate corruption, but some, including journalists Upton Sinclair and Charles Edward Russell, became avowed socialists after learning about the conditions of the urban poor.16 In 1912, the Commission on Industrial Relations convened to study the problem of American unskilled workers, noting the psychological setbacks caused by seasonal unemployment.17 Progressives also studied the plight of working women; the Russell Sage Foundation’s studies show that women in factories worked long hours, and that women’s and children’s work at home was completely unregulated.


pages: 274 words: 93,758

Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller, Stanley B Resor Professor Of Economics Robert J Shiller

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equity premium, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, income per capita, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, new economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, publication bias, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave

We might add many postscripts to this chapter regarding issues we have not covered; one topic stands out as especially necessary of mention. This chapter has mainly focused on lobbying of the Congress. Quite possibly of yet greater importance is the lobby­ing of the regulatory agencies, not to mention lobbying of state and local governments. PHISHING IN POLITICS Akerlof.indb 83 83 6/19/15 10:24 AM six Phood, Pharma, and Phishing I n 1906 the upstart novelist Upton Sinclair intruded on the public’s peace of mind. He wrote a novel, The Jungle, based on the meat­ packing houses of Chicago. His intent was to expose the immigrant wage slavery of the early twentieth century, as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin a half century earlier had exposed African American slavery (and was a major precipitator of the Civil War).1 But The Jungle created an uproar of an unexpected type, as it led to the discovery by middle-class housewives that the steak they were serving for dinner might come from tubercular cattle.2 Or tidbits from poisoned rats could be in the sausage, or from human remains in their “Durham’s Pure Leaf” lard.3 The demand for the packers’ meat fell by half and their minions in the Congress passed the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906,4 whose provisions have made the problems reported by Sinclair pretty much a thing of the past.

The League inspected working conditions, as Kelley had been doing for the state of Illinois, and it awarded its “White Label” to the products that passed its inspections.19 That label further vouched for the safety of the product itself. Buying White Label would thus kill two birds: commitment to civil society and safety for the buyer’s family. In chapter 6, we saw another example of this symbiosis between concerns for workers’ conditions and for product safety. Recall that Upton Sinclair had set out in The Jungle to expose the wage-slave labor of the Chicago meatpacking houses. But the public was especially shocked by the book’s exposé of what was going into their own stomachs. To this day, the “shopping for a better world” movement still underlies one wing of consumer activism. Think our Priusbuying friends; purchasers of free-range meat and poultry; and United Students against Sweat Shops.

Accessed November 26, 2014. http://www .bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/08/23/pavlov-poke-shocks-people -who-spend-too-much-time-on-facebook/. Ansolabehere, Stephen, John M. de Figueiredo, and James M. Snyder. “Why Is There So Little Money in U.S. Politics?” Journal of Economic Perspectives 17, no. 1 (Winter 2003): 105–30. Arrow, Kenneth J., and Gerard Debreu. “Existence of an Equilibrium for a Competitive Economy.” Econometrica 22, no. 3 (July 1954): 265–90. Arthur, Anthony. Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair. New York: Random House, 2006. Kindle. Asquith, Paul, David W. Mullins Jr., and Eric D. Wolff. “Original Issue High Yield Bonds: Aging Analyses of Defaults, Exchanges and Calls.” Journal of Finance 44, no. 4 (1989): 923–52. Associated Press. “Timeline of United Airlines’ Bankruptcy.” USA Today, February 1, 2006. Accessed November 9, 2014. http://usatoday30.usatoday .com/travel/flights/2006-02-01-united-timeline_x.htm.


pages: 422 words: 89,770

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

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1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, Pearl River Delta, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

The great muckraking journalists, artists, and progressives who had used their talents to expose abuses of the working class joined the war effort. Twelve thousand people, roused by German attacks on American cargo vessels and fiery denunciations in the press, rallied on March 22, 1917, in Madison Square Garden to call for war at a mass meeting organized by the American Rights Committee. William English Walling, Charles Edward Russell, Upton Sinclair, and nearly all other intellectual leaders in the Socialist Party, abandoning their opposition, issued a call for war the next day. The antiwar movement crumbled, with widespread defections including stalwarts such as Governor Arthur Capper of Kansas announcing on March 24 that the United States had to fight to defend itself against Germany’s “murderous assaults on human life and human rights.”2 Preachers in the nation’s most prominent pulpits blessed the call to arms, and the few voices that continued to resist the intoxication of battle were attacked.

It promised subscribers that “Pelmanism” produced salary increases “from 20 to 200 percent.” He later was mixed up in the Teapot Dome oil scandal and admitted before a 1924 Senate investigation that he had accepted a check for $5,000 to convince Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, whom he had worked with during the war, to lease two government-owned oil fields to private oil interests. He ran against Upton Sinclair in the 1934 Democratic primary for governor of California and lost. Franklin Roosevelt, who had had enough of Creel’s arrogance during World War I, when Roosevelt had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, rejected Creel’s requests to work in the Office of War Information during World War II. Creel ended his life as a fervent anticommunist and a champion of right-wing causes who worked with Senator Joseph McCarthy and Representative Richard Nixon during the Red Scare of the late 1940s.

She noted the shift in the press as early as 1915, when the papers began to “make pacifist activity or propaganda so absurd that it would be absolutely without influence and its authors so discredited that nothing they might say or do would be regarded as worthy of attention.” She went on to write, in Peace and Bread in Time of War, that “this concerted attempt at misrepresentation on the part of newspapers of all shades of opinion was quite new to my experience.”18 Voices of dissent were silenced under the onslaught. Appeal to Reason, a socialist journal founded in 1897 that provided an outlet for writers such as Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Mary “Mother” Jones, and Debs, had by 1902 the fourth highest circulation at 150,000 of any weekly in the nation. It opposed the war—not unusual for a publication at the start of the war—but its attempt to hold to its antiwar stance soon saw it come under tremendous pressure. The Espionage Act, making it an offence to publish material that undermined the war effort, effectively censored its content.


pages: 736 words: 147,021

Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety by Marion Nestle

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Asilomar, biofilm, butterfly effect, clean water, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, illegal immigration, out of africa, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, software patent, Upton Sinclair

The Politics of Consumer Concern: Distrust, Dread, and Outrage Conclusion: The Future of Food Safety: Public Health versus Bioterrorism Epilogue Appendix: The Science of Plant Biotechnology Notes List of Tables List of Figures Index PREFACE TO THE 2010 EDITION WHEN SAFE FOOD FIRST APPEARED IN 2003, FOOD SAFETY HARDLY appeared on the public agenda. American food safety advocates struggled to be heard but generated little public interest or congressional action. I wrote Safe Food to explain the political history of our fragmented and ineffective food safety system and how politics gets in the way of efforts to improve the system. Having no illusions that the book would do what Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle accomplished in 1906, I hoped that it would at least generate some creative thinking about food safety problems and their solutions. I spent the next few years dealing with invitations to speak about the health implications of food marketing discussed in my earlier book, Food Politics. I also wrote What to Eat, a book that uses supermarket aisles as an organizing device for thinking about food issues, safety among them.

In 1890, it passed a Meat Inspection Act that authorized inspection of salt pork, bacon, and pigs intended for export.39 In addition to popular pressures to clean up meat production, Dr. Harvey Wiley (who headed the USDA’s Bureau of Chemistry, which later became the FDA) relentlessly promoted reform laws to improve the safety of other foods. Nevertheless, federal involvement in food safety remained minimal.40 This complacency ended abruptly in 1906 when Upton Sinclair published his dramatic exposé of the meat industry, The Jungle. Two years earlier, the editor of a Midwestern populist weekly had recruited Sinclair to do some investigative reporting on conditions in the Chicago stockyards. After a seven-week stay, Sinclair wrote up his findings, not—as might be expected—as an investigative report, but rather as a serialized work of fiction, chapter by chapter, in 1905.

Although this pilot study identified some problems, the USDA decided to expand discretionary inspection nationwide. At this point, both consumer and industry groups charged that the USDA was deliberately choosing to ignore problems with discretionary inspection. Congress held hearings to review such complaints. At the hearings, meat inspectors raised vehement objections. With a graphic description worthy of Lafcadio Hearn or Upton Sinclair, Delmer Jones, the president of the inspectors’ union, explained why his group believed that daily visual inspections of meat plants must continue. The problem, he said, is no control by industry of product that falls on the floor. . . . Product becomes a sponge when it falls to the floor. Many of the products are ready to eat. The problem . . . is because of chemical residues, fecal contamination, abscesses; the employees spit on the floor, blow their nose on the floor; they go in the bathrooms and track it back out into the plant and whatever they tracked into the plant, that is what you eat in cold cuts when you place that meat on a sandwich.


pages: 478 words: 126,416

Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

But their immense personal wealth was as much the product of financial manipulation as of productive activity. At the beginning of the twentieth century the power of the robber barons was abruptly checked. The ‘muckrakers’ – hostile journalists – exposed some of the excesses of financial capitalism directed towards industrial monopoly. Ida Tarbell engaged in a sustained campaign against Rockefeller’s Standard Oil.29 Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle (1906), which described Midwest meat-packing plants, is still a literary classic.30 The term ‘muckraker’ was coined – not disapprovingly – by Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican who had unexpectedly become president following the assassination in 1901 of the benignly probusiness William McKinley. Roosevelt was an unashamed publicist and populist. Ten years earlier, a suspicious Congress had passed the Sherman Act, anti-trust legislation aimed at the financial consolidations of the robber barons: but it was only under Roosevelt’s administration that enforcement action began.

Credit expansion could not continue indefinitely: it would inevitably go into reverse when the low quality of much of the induced lending was revealed. And that was what happened in the global financial crisis. The social tensions that had been suppressed when consumption was growing faster than incomes were no longer contained. Public opinion turned against banking and finance, reflected in the Occupy movement and the surge in popularity of fringe political movements. A century after Upton Sinclair and Ida Tarbell the tradition of the muckraker was revived. A new generation of journalists sought to expose corporate and – especially – financial malpractice. When the internet journalist Matt Taibbi described Goldman Sachs as ‘a giant vampire squid, sucking money from wherever it finds it’,45 the description quickly went viral. The firm, which did not even advertise its presence at 200 West Street, was pilloried in Congress and the press.

Paradoxically, the Jackson Hole attendees who were seduced by the explanatory power of probabilistic models of rational behaviour were themselves in the grip of a conviction narrative – none more so than Chairman Greenspan himself, a one-time associate of Ayn Rand. The psychologist David Tuckett had anticipated their response to Rajan’s challenge: ‘The doubts they [sceptics] raise about the new story need to be refuted and so are mocked and maligned through dismissal.’34 The great muckraker Upton Sinclair had expressed a deep insight into the relationship between the world of ideas and the world of practical men: ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’35 Chapter 3 will describe another idea central to financialisation: the perceived need for liquidity. The Jackson Hole participants discussed risk with the aid of a well-worked-out framework of analysis with impressive intellectual coherence (if little empirical relevance).


pages: 31 words: 7,670

Why America Must Not Follow Europe by Daniel Hannan

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, mass immigration, obamacare, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, stakhanovite, Upton Sinclair

We can now see where that road leads: to burgeoning bureaucracy, more spending, higher taxes, slower growth, and rising unemployment. But an entire political class has grown up believing not just in the economic superiority of Euro-corporatism but in its moral superiority. After all, if the American system were better – if people and businesses could thrive without government supervision – there would be less need for politicians. As Upton Sinclair once observed, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” Nonetheless, the economic data are pitilessly clear. For the past 40 years, Europeans have fallen further and further behind Americans in their standard of living. In 1974, Western Europe, defined as the 15 members of the EU prior to the admission of the former Communist countries in 2004, accounted for 36 percent of world GDP.


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

Heinemann, 1931, reprinted 1978), 63; see generally Neal Gabler, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood (New York: Crown Publishers, 1988). 9. Drinkwater, Carl Laemmle, 64. 10. Ibid., 65. 11. Laemmle declared his film company “independent” in The Sunday Telegram, April 18, 1909, as described in Drinkwater, Carl Laemmle, 67. 12. Drinkwater, Carl Laemmle, 69–70. 13. This observation is drawn from Upton Sinclair, Upton Sinclair Presents William Fox (Los Angeles: self-published, 1933), 39. 14. One excellent history of the Warner brothers in Hollywood can be read in Cass Warner Sperling, Cork Millner, and Jack Warner, Hollywood Be Thy Name: The Warner Brothers Story 2nd ed. (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998). 15. The international alliance to break the film trust is described in Rosalie Schwartz, Flying Down to Rio: Hollywood, Tourists, and Yankee Clippers (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004), 163. 16.

And he made a personal pledge he had no obvious way of honoring: to supply films to any who joined his cause, an “ironclad promise to give you the best Films and the best service at all times in spite of Hades itself.”12 Unfortunately for him, most of Laemmle’s peers, lacking the appetite to fight the Trust, either accepted the rules or gave up the business. In 1910, the Trust began to consolidate the film exchanges by systematically buying them out, acquiring, according to Upton Sinclair, 119 of the 120 major exchanges.13 Among those deciding to throw in the towel were three brothers, Jack, Sam, and Harry Warner. Harry Warner planned to become a grocer, and so, following an alternative course of history, Warner Bros. might today be a supermarket chain.14 Laemmle, however, did have a few allies, among them very useful friends overseas. In 1909, a group of French, Italian, British, and German producers formed the International Projecting and Producing Company, whose goal was to challenge the American Trust that was blocking their imports.

Murrow to create See It Now on CBS, a totally new type of program that aimed to use the power of network television as a counterweight to political authority. The content varied, but the fundamental idea was to offer a forum for otherwise unheard voices, perhaps the most famous of these being that of Milo Radulovich, a U.S. military officer victimized by Joe McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt. Conceived in a crusading spirit going back at least as far as Upton Sinclair, the show certainly didn’t represent a revolutionary mission for journalists, or for the media for that matter. Yet it was a novelty for network television, and one that would change the face of the medium completely. Friendly would eventually abandon the networks to become a founding advocate of public broadcasting, and by the late 1960s, he was in the vanguard with Smith and others evangelizing for cable.9 Smith and Friendly were both residents of an American city critically in need of cable TV: New York, or more precisely, Manhattan.


pages: 323 words: 89,795

Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future by Andrew Heintzman, Evan Solomon, Eric Schlosser

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, deindustrialization, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, full employment, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, hydrogen economy, land reform, microcredit, Negawatt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment

The potential negative impact of a $2.5-billion loss in cattle exports will translate into a $2-billion loss in GDP, a $5.7-billion decline in total output and 75,000 jobs lost.1 BSE made the front page not because efforts to prevent the entry and transmission of BSE had been too little, too late, and not because of the potential human health risks — but largely because of the enormous disruption caused to Canada’s cattle markets and regional economies. In fact, BSE was not diagnosed until over three months after the cow had been condemned as unfit for human consumption and slaughtered. Meanwhile, the carcass had already been rendered into livestock feed. Consumers have been questioning food safety for over a century. From Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in 1906 — an exposé of unsanitary food handling in Chicago’s meat-packing plants — to Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation in 2001, the livestock and meat-packing industries have lent themselves to alarming accounts. A century ago, the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis spurred the establishment of government-sanctioned meat inspection, while today meat is associated with a new set of diseases.

By July 27, 2004, it was still unclear how a sufficient number of samples would be gathered to meet Alberta’s 2004 test quota.31 No one knows if a single case of BSE remains in Canada. Cattle producers are afraid to look for it but equally afraid that no one is looking for it, betting the farm whether they like it or not. Meanwhile consumers rely on government inspection to ensure that their meat is safe. Meat Inspection Canada’s Meat and Canned Foods Act became law in 1907, one year after publication of The Jungle, Upton Sinclair’s sensational exposé of unsanitary food handling practices in Chicago’s meat-packing plants.32 Canada’s Meat Inspection Service was created as an agency of the Department of Agriculture. Any plant wishing to ship its products across provincial or international boundaries was obliged to meet federal inspection standards. One important lesson gleaned from Britain’s BSE crisis was the need to separate the government department that promotes and supports food commodity producers from the agency responsible for monitoring and enforcing food safety standards.

Gary Little, “BSE Surveillance in Canada,” CAHNet Bulletin, Canadian Animal Health Network Edition 8, (Winter 2003): 3; and Alberta Auditor General, Report of the Auditor General on the Alberta Government’s BSE-Related Assistance Programs (July 27, 2004): 49. 30. “Farmers Not Meeting BSE Test Quotas,” Lethbridge Herald, August 5, 2004, 1. 31. Alberta Auditor General, Report on Alberta Government’s BSE-Related Assistance Programs, 48. 32. Upton Sinclair, The Jungle. (New York: Bantam Books, 1906; Bantam Classics Edition, 1981). For an account of the effect of Sinclair’s novel in Canada, see Ian MacLachlan, Kill and Chill: Restructuring Canada’s Beef Commodity Chain (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001), 128–31. 33. U.K. Food Standards Agency, Report on the Review of Scientific Committees (2002), http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/CommitteesReview.pdf. 34.


pages: 341 words: 89,986

Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made by Tom Wilkinson

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, experimental subject, false memory syndrome, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, housing crisis, Kitchen Debate, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, megacity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

Born on a farm during the American Civil War, he had a lasting suspicion of the metropolis, but created factories the size of cities. He loved the countryside and yet altered it for ever – automobiles meant suburbanisation. His cars helped free Americans, but his factories enslaved them. He venerated the past and yet helped dig its grave. He straddled the worlds of rural idiocy and industrial slavery, a crackpot colossus with a quenchless thirst for snake oil and an unerring instinct for the lowest common denominator (Upton Sinclair said his pronouncements were ‘shrewdly addressed to the mind of the average American, which he knew perfectly because he had had one for forty years’2). He insisted on sexual propriety in his workers but had a long affair with a much younger woman. A sentimental lover of children, he persecuted his own son even when the latter was on his deathbed. Dementedly anti-Semitic, he banned the use of brass in his factories because it was a ‘Jew metal’3 – where it was used, it was coloured black to escape his notice – and his ghostwritten ravings had a marked influence on Nazism – he was decorated by Hitler in 1938 – and yet his factories employed more black Americans than any other business, helping to create a large black middle class.

While patriarchs and preachers still belaboured the ears of the young with the virtue of thrift, Ford remarked to the papers, ‘No successful boy ever saved any money. They spent it as fast as they could in order to improve themselves.’4 This attitude caused uproar, but it also made Ford the richest man in the world. In order to achieve his aim of cheap cars for all, between 1908 and 1927 Ford offered only one ultra-standardised product, the Model T, which, he famously remarked, was available in ‘any colour, as long as it’s black’. Upton Sinclair, author of a tendentious novella about Ford called The Flivver King (flivver was one of the Model T’s many nicknames), shared the popular disdain for the car’s looks: It was an ugly enough little creation he had decided upon; with its top raised it looked like a little black box on wheels. But it had a seat to sit on, and a cover to shelter you from the rain, and an engine which would run and run, and wheels which would turn and turn.

Thomas Levin, New German Critique no. 40, winter 1987, 91–6, 95. 18 Kathleen James, Erich Mendelsohn and the Architecture of German Modernism (Cambridge, 1997), 163. 19 Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York (New York, 1994), 30. 20 Siegfried Kracuaer, The Salaried Masses, trans. Quintin Hoare (London, 1998), 93. 21 Karal Ann Marling (ed.), Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance (New York, 1997), 180. Chapter 7: Highland Park Car Factory, Detroit 1 Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Voyage au bout de la nuit, (Paris, 1962), 223. Author’s translation. 2 Upton Sinclair, The Flivver King (Chicago, 2010), 16. 3 Steven Watts, The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century (New York, 2005), 384. 4 Ibid. 118. 5 Sinclair, The Flivver King, 22. 6 Watts, 156–7. 7 Céline, 225–6. Author’s translation. 8 Federico Bucci, Albert Kahn: Architect of Ford (Princeton, 1993), 175. 9 Charles Fourier, Selections from the Works of Charles Fourier, trans. Julia Franklin (London, 1901), 59. http://www.archive.org/stream/selectionsfromw00fourgoog#page/n2/mode/2up 10 Charles Fourier, The Theory of the Four Movements (Cambridge, 1996), 132. 11 Charles Fourier, The Utopian Vision of Charles Fourier, trans.


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

Equally critical of American materialism is Sinclair Lewis’s 1920s satirical novel Babbitt, about a successful realtor who undergoes a mid-life crisis, goes bohemian and subsequently returns to the bourgeois fold. Yet US literature also produced one of the few great novels that look at a particular business in depth, in the shape of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. This tells you all you need to know (and more) about the catching and butchering of whales. And then there is Upton Sinclair, whose description of the Chicago slaughterhouses in the campaigning anti-business novel The Jungle was instrumental in bringing about the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, and whose novel The Moneychangers demonises Wall Street in a way that has taken on a new resonance in the light of the financial debacle of 2007–09. So Americans did have their misgivings about capitalism, though their feelings were mixed, for reasons explained by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge of The Economist in discussing the behaviour of the robber barons: Most Americans were ambivalent about business.

Scott Fitzgerald) 1 Great Illusion, The (Norman Angell) 1 Great Inflation (1970s) 1 Great Moderation 1, 2 Great Recession (2007–09) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Greece (modern) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Greeks (ancient) 1, 2, 3 Green, David 1 Greenspan, Alan 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Greenwood, Robin 1 Grekova, Irina 1 Grice, Dylan 1 Griesinger, Georg August 1 Gulf of Mexico oil spill (2010) 1 Gusinsky, Vladimir 1 Gutenberg, Johannes 1 Haldane, Andrew 1, 2, 3, 4 Hamilton, Alexander 1, 2 Hamlet (Shakespeare) 1 Hammurabi 1, 2 Handel, George Frideric 1 Hard Times (Dickens) 1, 2, 3 Haydn, Joseph 1 Hayek, Friedrich 1 Healey, Denis 1 healthcare 1 Heaney, Seamus 1 Hegel 1, 2 Hinduism 1, 2 Hirsch, Fred 1 Hirschman, Albert O. 1 Hirst, Damien 1, 2 Holmes, Oliver Wendell 1 Hoover, Herbert 1 Hotel Manager, The (Irina Grekova) 1 Hudson, George 1 Hugh of Saint Victor 1, 2 Hughes, Robert 1, 2, 3 Hume, David 1, 2, 3 Hutcheson, Archibald 1 hyperinflation 1 IBM 1 Iceland 1 Impressionists 1 income tax 1 incorporation 1, 2 India 1, 2 indirect taxes 1 industrial shrinkage 1 industrial revolution 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 inequality 1 Inferno (Dante) 1 inflation 1 institutional investors 1 intellectual property 1 International Monetary Fund 1 investment banking 1 Ireland 1, 2, 3 irrational exuberance 1 Islam 1 Italy 1, 2 art 1, 2 banking 1, 2 public debt 1, 2 taxation 1, 2 Ives, Charles 1 Jackson, Andrew 1, 2 Jackson Hole, Wyoming 1 James, Henry 1 Japan 1, 2 banks 1 bubble (1980s) 1, 2 industrialisation 1, 2 investment in China 1 manufacturing 1 Jefferson, Thomas 1, 2, 3 Jobs, Steve 1 Johnson, Ben 1 Johnson, Dr Samuel 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Johnson, Luke 1 joint stock companies 1 Joseph II, Emperor of Austria 1 JP Morgan 1 JPMorgan Chase 1 Judt, Tony 1 Jungle, The (Upton Sinclair) 1 Kafka, Franz 1 Kant, Immanuel 1 Katz, Richard 1 Kay, John 1, 2, 3 Kennedy, Paul 1 Kerr, Alex 1 Kerviel, Jérôme 1, 2 Keynes, John Maynard 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 art 1, 2, 3, 4 debt 1, 2, 3, 4 family background and education 1, 2 gold standard 1, 2 speculation (participation) 1 speculation (views) 1, 2 Kindleberger, Charles 1, 2 King, Mervyn 1, 2 Knight, Eric 1 Knights Templar 1 knowledge 1 Koons, Jeff 1, 2 Krugman, Paul 1 Kuttner, Robert 1, 2 Kynaston, David 1 L’Argent (Zola) 1 L’Esprit Des Lois (Montesquieu) 1, 2 La Rochefoucauld 1 Laffer, Arthur 1 Lambert, Richard 1 Lanchester, John 1 Law, John 1 law of comparative advantage 1 Lawrence, D.

L. 1, 2 Menlo Park 1 Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare) 1, 2, 3 Meriwether, John 1 Merton, Robert 1 Michelangelo 1, 2 Micklethwait, John 1 Midas myth 1, 2, 3 Milton, John 1 Minsky, Hyman 1, 2 Miró, Joan 1 Mississippi Bubble 1, 2 Misunderstanding Financial Crises (Gary B. Gorton) 1 Moby-Dick (Herman Melville) 1 Molière 1, 2 Moll Flanders (Daniel Defoe) 1 Mond, Alfred 1, 2 money motive 1 Moneychangers, The (Upton Sinclair) 1 Montesquieu 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Moore, G. E. 1 morbidity syndrome 1 More, Thomas 1, 2 Morgan, John Pierpont 1 Mozart 1, 2 Mussolini 1 Mutual Assured Production (Richard Katz) 1 Mynors, Humphrey 1 Napoleonic Wars 1 Nash, Ogden 1, 2 Native Americans 1 Nazi Germany 1 Netherlands 1 New Deal 1, 2 New Testament 1 Newton, Isaac 1, 2, 3 Nicholas Nickleby (Dickens) 1, 2, 3 Nigeria 1 Norquist, Grover 1 North, Roger 1 North and South (Mrs Gaskell) 1 North Korea 1 Northern Rock (UK) 1 Novalis 1 Nuffield, Lord 1 Obama, Barack 1, 2 Occupy movement 1, 2 oil states 1 da l’Osta, Andrea 1, 2 outsourcing 1, 2 paper currency 1 Parker, Dorothy 1 Pascal, Blaise 1, 2 Past and Present (Thomas Carlyle) 1 Paulson, John 1 Peasants’ Revolt (England) 1 pension funds 1 Pepys, Samuel 1 Peruzzi family 1 perverse incentives 1, 2 Petronius 1 Picasso 1, 2 Piketty, Thomas 1 Pitt, William the Elder 1 Pitt, William the Younger 1 Plato 1, 2, 3 Political Discourses (Hume) 1 Politics (Aristotle) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 poll taxes 1 Pope, Alexander 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Portugal 1 positional goods 1 Poussin, Nicolas 1 Prell, Michael 1 Priestley, Joseph 1 printing 1 Proposition 1 (California) 2 Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Weber) 1 Prussia 1, 2, 3 public sector debt 1 R.


pages: 353 words: 91,211

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton

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agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, British Empire, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, creative destruction, deglobalization, dematerialisation, desegregation, deskilling, endogenous growth, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, interchangeable parts, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, V2 rocket

He had the odd sense of ‘having strayed into the world of those romancers who forecast the future; a slaughterhouse of tasteful architecture set in a grove of lemon trees and date palms, suggested the dreamy ideal of some reformer whose palate shrinks from vegetarianism’.14 Advanced thinkers of the time, such as Gissing’s friend, H. G. Wells, were attracted to vegetarianism and a vegetarian future. On the other side of the Atlantic, another writer was to picture a very different kind of slaughterhouse. Upton Sinclair, in his great socialist novel of 1906, The Jungle, described the booming, corrupt, business-dominated city of Chicago. Among the giant enterprises he discussed were the great meatpackers, a world away from Europe’s most modern municipal abattoirs (another, mentioned with approval, was the International Harvester factory). Here was a new kind of mass industry, with astonishing methods of production and unprecedented control over workers and government.

From the chilling plant, the sides went by covered way into the holds of the refrigerated ship.22 But there was much else going on, for every bit of the animal was used, and some 40 per cent in weight was removed to make what is called a ‘dressed’ carcass; this was turned into a wide range of products, from brushes to pharmaceuticals. The killing rate in the frigorífico was extraordinary, especially if we remember it was done by stunning with a pole-axe and then cutting the throat with a knife. Through much of the twentieth century Uruguay slaughtered 1 million head of cattle per annum, mostly in the four plants. In the 1930s the Anglo in Fray Bentos dispatched 200 an hour.23 According to Upton Sinclair, one Chicago plant was already killing twice that thirty years earlier. Fifteen to twenty beef cattle were stunned with a pole-axe every minute, and then killed: 400 to 500 an hour, around 4,000 a day.24 These giant meatpackers were unknown in the Old World; they were found only in the River Plate, the USA and Oceania. European slaughterhouses, often municipally owned, as in the case of La Villette in Paris, were spaces where many butchers could work, killing their own cattle on a small scale, for local consumption.25 British slaughterhouses were tiny, supplied local markets and were not known for humane treatment of animals.26 Even the new interwar municipal abattoir in Sheffield, which had a monopoly of killing in its area, dealt with only 600 cattle a week.27 The point was not that Britain was resistant to new killing technology, or did not have access to it.

Oddly enough Britain did not develop a large factory-fishing fleet; the majority of new trawlers from the 1960s froze whole fish at sea for processing on land; their number peaked at forty-eight in 1974, a year before the last one was built. Waterman, Freezing Fish. 13. On related matters, see Paul R. Josephson, Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World (New York: Shearwater, 2002). 14. George Gissing, By the Ionian Sea (London: Century Hutchinson, 1986), pp. 153–4 (first published 1901). 15. Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics Edition, 1974), pp. 328–9 (first published New York, 1906). 16. Ibid., pp. 44, 45. 17. Ibid., pp. 376–7. 18. See Hans-Liudger Dienel, Linde: History of a Technology Corporation, 1879–2004 (London: Palgrave, 2004). 19. The lorry-mounted refrigeration unit was developed in the 1940s by an African-American inventor, Fred Jones, and led to the creation of the enormous Thermo King company. 20.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation by Satyajit Das

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9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

For many of these, recovery is now unlikely. Traditional sources of protein, such as wild cod and salmon, are becoming scarce. With most wild fisheries fully or over-exploited, demand is now met by fish farms, which require grain and soybeans as feed. Fishmeal is another source of feed, placing additional pressure on oceanic fisheries. The revelations about Chicago's meatpacking industry in Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel The Jungle caused public outrage about industrial food production methods. Despite subsequent regulatory safeguards, modern large-scale food production, which emphasizes efficiency and quantity over quality, has side effects. Liquid manure threatens water quality, contributing to rising nitrate levels in near-surface groundwater. The need for cheap feed drives deforestation in emerging countries, with forests being cut down to create farmland.

On March 14, 2012, a former employee, Greg Smith, published an opinion piece in the New York Times detailing his reasons for resigning from the firm.6 The letter criticized Goldman's “toxic and destructive” practices. Clients, known internally as “muppets,” were encouraged to invest in securities or products that Goldman wanted to dispose of at a profit. They frequently did not understand the risk of the complex transactions. During a 2010 US Senate hearing on investment banking practices in the lead-up to the GFC, Goldman executives illustrated Upton Sinclair's observation: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”7 The following exchange occurred during the hearing: Senator Levin: “Don't you also have a duty to disclose an adverse interest to your client? Do you have that duty?” Dan Sparks (head of Goldman Sach's mortgage trading): “About?” Senator Levin: “If you have an adverse interest to your client, do you have the duty to disclose that to your client?”

Ralph Mannheim, Der Fuehrer: Hitler's Rise to Power, Houghton Mifflin, 1944, excerpted in Fritz Ringer, The German Inflation of 1923, Oxford University Press, 1969, p. 170. 2 See Michael Mackenzie, Dan McCrum, and Stephen Foley, “Bond Markets: A False Sense of Security,” Financial Times, 18 November 2012. 3 See Ralph Atkins and Martin Sandbu, “FT Interview Transcript: Jens Weidmann,” Financial Times, 13 November 2011. 4 See Ben McLannahan, “Japan Bonds Swing Wildly after BoJ Move,” Financial Times, 5 April 2013. 5 John Maynard Keynes, quoted in Robert Sidelsky, John Maynard Keynes: The Economist as Saviour 1920-1937, Macmillan, 1992, p. 62. 6 Greg Smith, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” New York Times, 14 March 2012. 7 Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked, University of California Press (1935) 1994, p. 109. 8 “Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: The Role of Investment Banks,” Senate Hearing 111-674, vol. 4, 27 April 2010. www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111shrg57322/html/CHRG-111shrg57322.htm. 9 Matt Taibbi, “The Great American Bubble Machine,” Rolling Stone, 5 April 2010. 10 Liam Vaughan and Jesse Westbrook, “Barclays Big-Boy Breaches Mean Libor Fixes Not Enough,” Bloomberg, 29 June 2012. www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-29/barclays-big-boy-breaches-mean-libor-fixes-not-enough. 11 Martin Arnold, “HSBC Shares Drop after Full-Year Profits Fall,” Financial Times, 23 February 2015. 12 Ferdinand Pecora, Wall Street under Oath, Simon & Schuster, 1939, p. 130. http://books.google.com.au/books?


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

When Utopia Lends a Hand Gilded Age strikers: “cooperative commonwealth” Alex Gourevitch, From Slavery to the Cooperative Commonwealth: Labor and Republican Liberty in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/​files/​history-culture-society-workshop/​files/​introduction_and_chapter_4.pdf. Robin D.G. Kelley: “black-led biracial democratic, populist, and radical movements” Robin D.G. Kelley, “Births of a Nation,” Boston Review, March 6, 2017, http://bostonreview.net/​race-politics/​robin-d-g-kelley-births-nation. Upton Sinclair: 900,000 votes Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1934), x. Milan Kundera: “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting (New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 1999), 4. Trapped in the Matrix Junot Díaz: “Those of us whose ancestors were owned…” Junot Díaz, “Under President Trump, Radical Hope Is Our Best Option,” New Yorker, November 21, 2016, http://www.newyorker.com/​magazine/​2016/​11/​21/​under-president-trump-radical-hope-is-our-best-weapon.

A similar utopian fervor in the late sixties and early seventies—emerging out of the countercultural upheaval, when young people were questioning just about everything—laid the groundwork for feminist, lesbian and gay, and environmental breakthroughs. The New Deal, it is always worth remembering, was adopted by President Roosevelt at a time of such progressive and Left militancy that its programs—radical by today’s standards—appeared at the time to be the only way to prevent full-scale revolution. And this was no idle threat. When Upton Sinclair, the muckraking author of The Jungle, ran for governor of California in 1934, it was something like the Bernie Sanders campaign of its day. Sinclair was a champion of a more left-wing version of the New Deal, arguing that the key to ending poverty was full state funding of workers’ cooperatives. He received nearly 900,000 votes, but fell short of winning the governor’s office. (If you didn’t learn this in history class, it may not be a coincidence.


pages: 213 words: 61,911

In defense of food: an eater's manifesto by Michael Pollan

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back-to-the-land, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, Gary Taubes, placebo effect, Upton Sinclair

So now the trans fats are gone, and margarine marches on, unfazed and apparently unkillable. Too bad the same cannot be said of an unknown number of margarine eaters. By now we have become so inured to fake foods that we forget what a difficult trail margarine had to blaze before it and other synthetic food products could win government and consumer acceptance. At least since the 1906 publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, the “adulteration” of common foods has been a serious concern of the eating public and the target of numerous federal laws and Food and Drug Administration regulations. Many consumers regarded “oleomargarine” as just such an adulteration, and in the late 1800s five states passed laws requiring that all butter imitations be dyed pink so no one would be fooled. The Supreme Court struck down the laws in 1898.

So here’s a subclause to the get-out-of-the-supermarket rule: Shake the hand that feeds you. As soon as you do, accountability becomes once again a matter of relationships instead of regulation or labeling or legal liability. Food safety didn’t become a national or global problem until the industrialization of the food chain attenuated the relationships between food producers and eaters. That was the story Upton Sinclair told about the Beef Trust in 1906, and it’s the story unfolding in China today, where the rapid industrialization of the food system is leading to alarming breakdowns in food safety and integrity. Regulation is an imperfect substitute for the accountability, and trust, built into a market in which food producers meet the gaze of eaters and vice versa. Only when we participate in a short food chain are we reminded every week that we are indeed part of a food chain and dependent for our health on its peoples and soils and integrity—on its health.


pages: 304 words: 80,965

What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us, and How to Fix It by Stephen Davis, Jon Lukomnik, David Pitt-Watson

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Admiral Zheng, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, computerized trading, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Northern Rock, passive investing, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks

Judging risk and getting the balance correct is the essence of being a good banker. But the formulaic way in which bankers are paid and the correlation between company size and compensation give little incentive for prudence. Economic ADHD is built into the structures of institutions whose very purpose is to be safe and prudent and whose business model is leveraged and fragile. As the writer Upton Sinclair famously said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”33 Agency Capitalism Most of us experience ownership in straightforward terms. If you want a new jacket and can afford it, you go to the store and buy it. Larger purchases may be more complicated, but your essential relationship to the thing you bought remains the same.

Carola Frydman and Dirk Jenter, “CEO Compensation,” Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Working Paper no. 77 (March 19, 2010): “The literature provides ample evidence that CEO compensation and portfolio incentives are correlated with a wide variety of corporate behaviors, from investment and financial policies to risk taking and manipulation”; Lucian Bebchuk and Yaniv Grinstein, “Firm Expansion and CEO Pay,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper no. 11886 (November 2005). 30. Bebchuk and Grinstein, “Firm Expansion and CEO Pay.” 31. In the United Kingdom, for example, it was RBS, which had embarked on rapid acquisition, and HBOS and Northern Rock, which had been aggressive in the market place, who found themselves in greatest trouble. 32. “Governing Banks” (Global Governance Forum/International Finance Corporation, 2010). 33. Upton Sinclair, “I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked” (University of California Press, 1994). (Originally printed 1936.) 34. Ronald J. Gilson and Jeffrey N. Gordon, “The Agency Costs of Agency Capitalism: Activist Investors and the Revaluation of Governance Rights,” March 11, 2013, Columbia Law Review, 2013, ECGI—Law Working Paper no. 197, Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper no. 438, Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Working Paper no. 130, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?


pages: 51 words: 14,616

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx; Friedrich Engels

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Anton Chekhov, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, means of production, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair

Somerset Maugham, 0-553-21392-X THE BALLAD OF THE SAD CAFE AND OTHER STORIES, Carson McCullers, 0-553-27254-3 THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, 0-553-26963-1 THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, Carson McCullers, 0-553-25051-5 BILLY BUDD, SAILOR AND OTHER STORIES, Herman Melville, 0-553-21274-5 MOBY-DICK, Herman Melville, 0-553-21311-3 ON LIBERTY and UTILITARIANISM, John Stuart Mill, 0-553-21414-4 THE ANNOTATED MILTON, John Milton, 0-553-58110-4 THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, 0-553-21402-0 COMMON SENSE, Thomas Paine, 0-553-21465-9 THE DIALOGUES OF PLATO, Plato, 0-553-21371-7 THE TELL-TALE HEART AND OTHER WRITINGS, Edgar Allan Poe, 0-553-21228-1 CYRANO DE BERGERAC, Edmond Rostand, 0-553-21360-1 IVANHOE, Sir Walter Scott, 0-553-21326-1 THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE (25 vols.), William Shakespeare PYGMALION and MAJOR BARBARA, George Bernard Shaw, 0-553-21408-X FRANKENSTEIN, Mary Shelley, 0-553-21247-8 THE JUNGLE, Upton Sinclair, 0-553-21245-1 THE WEALTH OF NATIONS, Adam Smith, 0-553-58597-5 ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 0-553-24777-8 THE COMPLETE PLAYS OF SOPHOCLES, Sophocles, 0-553-21354-7 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, Robert Louis Stevenson, 0-553-21277-X KIDNAPPED, Robert Louis Stevenson, 0-553-21260-5 TREASURE ISLAND, Robert Louis Stevenson, 0-553-21249-4 DRACULA, Bram Stoker, 0-553-21271-0 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 0-553-21218-4 GULLIVER'S TRAVELS AND OTHER WRITINGS, Jonathan Swift, 0-553-21232-X VANITY FAIR, William Makepeace Thackeray, 0-553-21462-4 WALDEN AND OTHER WRITINGS, Henry David Thoreau, 0-553-21246-X DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA, Alexis de Tocqueville, 0-553-21464-0 ANNA KARENINA, Leo Tolstoy, 0-553-21346-6 THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH, Leo Tolstoy, 0-553-21035-1 THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, Mark Twain, 0-553-21079-3 THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, Mark Twain, 0-553-21128-5 THE COMPLETE SHORT STORIES OF MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain, 0-553-21195-1 A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT, Mark Twain, 0-553-21143-9 LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI, Mark Twain, 0-553-21349-0 THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER, Mark Twain, 0-553-21256-7 PUDD'NHEAD WILSON, Mark Twain, 0-553-21158-7 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, Jules Verne, 0-553-21252-4 AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS, Jules Verne, 0-553-21356-3 FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, Jules Verne, 0-553-21420-9 THE AENEID OF VIRGIL, Virgil, 0-553-21041-6 CANDIDE, Voltaire, 0-553-21166-8 THE INVISIBLE MAN, H.


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What Went Wrong: How the 1% Hijacked the American Middle Class . . . And What Other Countries Got Right by George R. Tyler

8-hour work day, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Black Swan, blood diamonds, blue-collar work, Bolshevik threat, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lake wobegon effect, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, pirate software, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Rising income disparities gave voice to collectivists; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for example, who published Discourse on the Origin of Inequality in 1755, and Karl Marx, whose dense Communist Manifesto was published nearly a century later. Mainstream critics sought to temper the increasingly evident excesses of poverty, wage suppression, and the amorality endemic with laissez-faire capitalism, as popularized by Charles Dickens and others, and later, by American writers such as Upton Sinclair and John Steinbeck. It was a battle first waged in England, featuring the Chartist laborers’ uprisings in 1838–1848 promising class warfare.41 Forced by public opinion to acknowledge the validity of long-suppressed employee grievances, Parliament launched study commissions and soon crafted a middle ground between conservatives like Thomas Carlyle and socialists like John Stuart Mill that became a continent-wide template.

Roosevelt helped guide this rejuvenation of traditional American values and thereby became a transformational president: “Franklin Roosevelt was one of those rare individuals who had a significant impact on history, but his leadership explains less about the changes the United States underwent in the 1930s than does a fundamental shift in the values of the American people.”5 Building on reformers including President Theodore Roosevelt, Ida Tarbell, and Upton Sinclair, the recrafting of American capitalism by Franklin D. Roosevelt placed the US economy on a trajectory toward family capitalism. In calling on the “angels” in each of us, Roosevelt reawakened the frontier mindset of Americans to look beyond their own lives to broader concerns, such as the value added to society by expansive public education. A few years later, this spirit sustained those 420,000 of The Greatest Generation, who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II to nurture the freedom and prosperity of those back home.

That made regulatory capture of Washington an imperative and a key feature of this era. With an appealing ideology credentialed by the charismatic President Reagan, and made even more appealing by campaign donations, Ayn Rand’s Washington men found ready acolytes to Reaganomics among members of Congress. And their outmanned opponents in unions and other groups quickly learned the truth of the Upton Sinclair proverb: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” The New Norm: “Savage Cost Cutting” “It is a good time to be a corporate insider, particularly at major financial companies. First you report productivity gains and ‘operating profits’—not by making smart investments in productive assets, but instead … at industrial firms, by cutting the number of workers per unit of capital.”32 That was mutual fund manager John P.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

Even bread was not above suspicion. New York City bakers in the 1880s stretched and preserved their dough with doses of alum and copper. “Customers were continually enraged to discover chunks of foreign matter in their loaves, such as oven ash and grit from the baker’s machinery.”57 Worse yet were standard practices in the meat industry. The most famous protest against these conditions was Upton Sinclair’s famous 1906 The Jungle, an account of the grisly conditions of production and employment in the Chicago meat-packing industry. He described unsanitary conditions in the making of sausages and even implied that occasionally a worker fell into a vat and became part of the product. To disguise the smell of rotten meat and other food spoilage, food producers used additives to enhance the flavor, smell, and/or color of food products.

“As late as 1900 the nation’s milk supply was seriously contaminated with tuberculosis, typhoid, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and streptococcal germs.”46 Even beer and alcoholic drinks were adulterated. A retired brewer in Rochester, New York revealed that “salicylic acid, quassia wood, tannin, glycerine, and grape sugar” were added to his firm’s beer during its processing. A retired liquor manufacturer in New York City told a reporter, “A man stands about as good a chance of being struck by lightning as of buying pure brandy in New York.”47 Anticipating Upton Sinclair’s unsettling exposé of the Chicago stockyards in 1906, the New York Council of Hygiene reported in 1869 that foods hung on racks or placed on counters “undergo spontaneous deterioration becoming absolutely poisonous.”48 In the early 1880s, little progress had been made: Much of New York City’s meat supply … reached the stockyards afoot through labyrinths of residential streets, strewing manure and trailing clouds of dust and flies.

The New York’s Ladies’ Protective Health Association (LPHA), established in 1884, was soon joined by similar organizations in a nationwide reform movement to force slaughterhouse owners to make drastic reforms, and this political pressure was resisted fiercely by lobbying and political contributions by the owners, who were eventually defeated by the influence of public opinion on legislation. The grand climax of the fight between the reformers and the abusive profit-oriented suppliers of adulteration and contamination came suddenly. In February 1906, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was published. A semifictionalized account of health and working conditions in the Chicago stockyards, The Jungle was intended by Sinclair to be “the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the labor movement.”50 Barely twenty years after the revelations of conditions in New York by the LPHA, the details about Chicago were even more sickening; the meat, “without being washed, … was pushed from room to room in rotten box carts, all the while collecting dirt, splinters, floor filth, and the expectoration of tubercular and other diseased workers.”51 The book became an instant bestseller, and because it accused federal meat inspectors of taking bribes, it immediately caught the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt, who launched an investigation.


pages: 329 words: 85,471

The Locavore's Dilemma by Pierre Desrochers, Hiroko Shimizu

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air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, edge city, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, intermodal, invention of agriculture, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, land tenure, megacity, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, profit motive, refrigerator car, Steven Pinker, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl

Economies of scale can be achieved either by increasing the size of operations in a firm or by one firm working with another, typically located nearby. Perhaps the best historical case to illustrate the economic benefits of both types of economies of scale is the Chicago meat-packing district in the second half of the 19th century, a subject to which we will now devote a few lines.26 Although self-styled reformers maligned the meat packers for their alleged sins of collusion and greed—long before Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle indicted them for alleged unsanitary practices27—a case can be made that the real source of the industry’s success and its true economic impact has been mischaracterized by contemporary critics who were essentially local food activists. The main argument on behalf of the packers, as stated in 1908 by the pastor George Powell Perry, was that it was a common mistake “to attribute the financial success of some of these moneyed corporations to cheat and chicanery in business methods” for “to say that all this phenomenal accumulation of wealth has resulted from shrewd trickery that enabled a few to cheat their fellows of their dues is a false representation of the true workings of a system of savings that has done as much as anything else to make possible the extraordinary prosperity of our nation during the past century.”

The implicit message was that America should “reform its slaughterhouses and packaging methods and, most important, that it introduce a reliable system of microscopic examination for exported pork” in order to prevent the spread of trichinae—parasitic nematodes or roundworms, the reason for the widespread advice to cook pork thoroughly. (Again, this trade conflict began nearly three decades before Upton Sinclair published The Jungle.) As was widely known at the time, though, trichinosis was also a significant problem in Germany, as it had claimed at least 513 lives before 1880.49 Slightly more than four decades later, American exports of apples to the United Kingdom were blocked after arsenic-based pesticides had been discovered on some fruit. This ban on imports—pursued, of course, with only the best interest of consumers in mind—was fortuitous as the local apple industry was then struggling.


pages: 336 words: 92,056

The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger

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Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra

A ruthless real estate tycoon who ran for Congress as a dyed-in-the-wool socialist, Wilshire attracted a high-profile salon of radical intellectuals and writers that included H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, and Upton Sinclair. Then in 1925 he began promoting the I-ON-A-CO electric collar, an electromagnetic device that very much resembled a horse harness. The collar was based on the extraordinarily dubious theory that an electromagnetic field somehow interacted with the body’s natural iron content to restore health. According to most accounts, Wilshire was genuinely sincere in his belief that the belt provided medicinal benefits and even enlisted his friend Upton Sinclair to promote the thing. Wilshire himself not only invested heavily in the thing, but took to the road carrying with him all of the credibility of a millionaire. By the time the I-ON-A-CO craze petered out in the late 1920s, thousands of collars had been sold and tens of thousands of people treated in storefront clinics.


pages: 151 words: 38,153

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

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Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy

This vision of a smaller workforce sustained by quickly spent pensions appealed to all age groups. The Townsend Plan had flaws. For one thing, a 2 percent sales tax wouldn’t have raised enough money to pay the proposed pensions. For another, since average wages at the time were around $100 a month, a $200-per-month pension would have been unseemly as well as unaffordable. But there’s no doubt that the Townsend movement, along with others led by Upton Sinclair and Huey Long, pushed Congress to pass Social Security in 1935 and expand it in 1939. If such mass movements could be built prior to the Internet, might not comparable ones arise today? With regard to nature, there are similar possibilities. Today’s environmental movement exploded in 1970 when the first Earth Day demonstrations mobilized twenty million people across the country. Soon Richard Nixon was signing laws to protect air, water, and endangered species.


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, God and Mammon, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, jobless men, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

There were writers of the early twentieth century who spoke for socialism or criticized the capitalist system harshly—not obscure pamphleteers, but among the most famous of American literary figures, whose books were read by millions: Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Theodore Dreiser, Frank Norris. Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle, published in 1906, brought the conditions in the meatpacking plants of Chicago to the shocked attention of the whole country, and stimulated demand for laws regulating the meat industry. But also, through the story of an immigrant laborer, Jurgis Rudkus, it spoke of socialism, of how beautiful life might be if people cooperatively owned and worked and shared the riches of the earth. The Jungle was first published in the Socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason; it was then read by millions as a book, and was translated into seventeen languages. One of the influences on Upton Sinclair’s thinking was a book, People of the Abyss, by Jack London.

George Creel and the government were behind the formation of an American Alliance for Labor and Democracy, whose president was Samuel Gompers and whose aim was to “unify sentiment in the nation” for the war. There were branches in 164 cities; many labor leaders went along. According to James Weinstein, however, the Alliance did not work: “Rank-and-file working class support for the war remained lukewarm. . . .” And although some prominent Socialists—Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Clarence Darrow—became prowar after the U.S. entered, most Socialists continued their opposition. Congress passed, and Wilson signed, in June of 1917, the Espionage Act. From its title one would suppose it was an act against spying. However, it had a clause that provided penalties up to twenty years in prison for “Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall wilfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the U.S. . . .”


pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor

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bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, publication bias, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

The fact is that America’s famous blends are more juiced up and candified—and filthied up with nitrosamine stank—than what much of the rest of the world smokes. But the rest of the world is catching up. With very few exceptions, tobacco almost everywhere is essentially unregulated. French cigarettes must contain at least 85 percent tobacco, and Germans don’t allow nicotine to be freebased with ammonia, but most of the rest is the Wild West. Dog food has been more tightly regulated; the stockyards in Upton Sinclair’s Jungle were clean by comparison. Try to imagine the inside of a cigarette factory, and if you can’t, think about why that might be so. Almost as invisible is the political influence wielded by the tobacco lobby. Readers may be surprised to learn that President Lyndon Johnson refused to take on Big Tobacco, fearing his party’s loss of the presidency. Or that tobacco was a sizable part of the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe.

Tobacco companies are complex organizations with thousands of employees and highly diversified departments, each with their own subdivisions of labor. Who knew what and how early? are therefore questions that are not always easy to answer. Knowledge and ignorance can have complicated biogeographies, and we also have to reckon with the corporate equivalent of a kind of psychological denial: people don’t always want to know what they could and perhaps should know, especially if the knowledge is going to be painful. Upton Sinclair in 1935 noted how difficult it was to get someone to understand something “when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”3 Avoiding the truth is probably easier when that is what is expected of you on the job. Psychological and sociological complications of this sort can frustrate our search for answers to “who knew what and when” in the realm of tobacco hazards. We cannot peer directly into other people’s minds, but we can say what the documents tell us, which is that researchers at America’s largest tobacco firms had begun wrestling with health harms long before the 1950s.

Of course it is strange to think about contaminants in smoke when even pure, pristine, natural tobacco is already toxic. If even the cleanest cigarette smoke will kill you, does it really matter if there is extra filth in the form of metal shards or insect excrement? Perhaps this is different from, say, fecal pellets in your cereal or hair in your hot dog. We don’t really have much of a common cultural perception of the filth in cigarettes, nothing we can compare to the rot and stench of the stockyards Upton Sinclair exposed in The Jungle. Which is odd, because far more people die from cigarettes than ever perished from the maggots and microbes that once tainted our meat. The moral of this story is not that tobacco should be clean but rather that its makers cannot be trusted. To find out more about what is really in a cigarette we need to return to the archives, where we find the companies well aware of the presence in cigarettes of lead and arsenic, along with pesticides and polonium and a witches’ brew of chemicals added for various purposes.


pages: 488 words: 144,145

Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream by R. Christopher Whalen

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Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, debt deflation, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global reserve currency, housing crisis, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, non-tariff barriers, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

The Treasury simply operated as another participant in a completely private marketplace where “anything goes” and “caveat emptor” were the operative norms. The state and local courts were left to provide legal regulation of banking and finance. Stocks and bonds were sold from private banks, parlors, saloons, and the backs of wagons—much like Wall Street today. Such activities were reckoned to be speculative and thus socially suspect. The biblical, pejorative view of the “money changers,” to borrow the title of the 1926 book by Upton Sinclair, still held sway with many Americans, especially those who supported silver as the means for national salvation. There was as yet little thought given in Washington to restraining the worst tendencies of the markets, let alone setting standards for the regulation of commercial behavior that are the basic requirements of any civil society. The pro-business tendency of the Republican party, which dominated the politics of the nation during much of this period, encouraged and enabled a level of licentiousness and greed that would result in several serious financial crises and economic depressions and eventually led to the Great Depression.

He was even less sanguine about the individual speculators in these markets and the smaller trusts that had proliferated by the hundreds and employed bank loans to fund purchases of stocks and bonds. Conveniently enough, the crisis forced the heavily indebted Tennessee Iron & Coal company, a competitor of the great Pennsylvania Steel Trust controlled by the Morgan and Rockefeller groups, to sell itself to Morgan for $30 million, less than 5 percent of its actual worth.20 In the fictional work The Money Changers, published in 1908 by Upton Sinclair, “a plutocrat very much resembling Morgan provoked a financial panic and turned the people’s misery to his own sordid gain,” wrote James Grant in Money on the Mind.21 It should also be that the government of President Roosevelt did not attempt to block the purchase of Tennessee Iron & Coal by U.S. Steel even though it was clearly a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Whether or not J.P.


pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega

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Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth, Donald Davies, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, market design, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, peer-to-peer, performance metric, pirate software, Robert Bork, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, x509 certificate, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

I have arranged this chapter into a few core topics: • “Cloud Computing and Web Services: The Single Machine Is Here” on page 150 • “Connecting People, Process, and Technology: The Potential for Business Process Management” on page 154 • “Social Networking: When People Start Communicating, Big Things Change” on page 158 • “Information Security Economics: Supercrunching and the New Rules of the Grid” on page 162 • “Platforms of the Long-Tail Variety: Why the Future Will Be Different for Us All” on page 165 Before I get into my narrative, let me share a few quick words said by Upton Sinclair and quoted effectively by Al Gore in his awareness campaign for climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, and which I put on a slide to start my public speaking events: It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it. Challenging listeners to question the reason why they are being presented ideas serves as a timely reminder of common, subtle bias for thoughts and ideas presented as fact.

Readers of The Da Vinci Code will recognize the name as the school where Sophie Neveu, the French cryptographer in the book, was educated. Several years before I worked for Microsoft, Professor Fred Piper at the Information Security Group approached me for an opinion on the day that he was to speak at the British Computer Society. He posed to me a straightforward question: “Would Microsoft have been so successful if security was prominent in Windows from day one?” At this point, I should refer you back to my Upton Sinclair quote earlier in this chapter; but it does leave an interesting thought about the role security will have in the overall landscape of information technology evolution. I was once accused of trivializing the importance of security when I put up a slide at a conference with the text “Security is less important than performance, which is less important than functionality,” followed by a slide with the text “Operational security is a business support function; get over your ego and accept it.”


pages: 376 words: 118,542

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, bank run, banking crisis, Corn Laws, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, invisible hand, labour mobility, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, school vouchers, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

The Interstate Commerce Commission, dating from 1887, was the first agency established largely through a political crusade led by self-proclaimed representatives of the consumer—the Ralph Naders of the day. It has gone through several life cycles and has been exhaustively studied and analyzed. It provides an excellent example to illustrate the natural history of government intervention in the marketplace. The Food and Drug Administration, initially established in 1906 in response to the outcry that followed Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle, which exposed unsanitary conditions in the Chicago slaughtering and meat-packing houses, has also gone through several life cycles. Aside from its intrinsic interest, it serves as something of a bridge between the earlier specific-industry type of regulation and the more recent functional or cross-industry type of regulation because of the change that occurred in its activities after the 1962 Kefauver amendments.

Neither the users nor the producers would be able to put their hands in anybody else's pocket to maintain a service that did not satisfy this condition. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION By contrast with the ICC, the second major foray of the federal government into consumer protection—the Food and Drug Act of 1906—did not arise from protests over high prices, but from concern about the cleanliness of food. It was the era of the muckraker, of investigative journalism. Upton Sinclair had been sent by a socialist newspaper to Chicago to investigate conditions in the stockyards. The result was his famous novel, The Jungle, which he wrote to create sympathy for the workers, but which did far more to arouse indignation at the unsanitary conditions under which meat was processed. As Sinclair said at the time, "I aimed at the public's heart and by accident hit it in the stomach."

Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government by Robert Higgs, Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr.

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Alistair Cooke, clean water, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, declining real wages, endowment effect, fiat currency, fixed income, full employment, hiring and firing, income per capita, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, price discrimination, profit motive, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

lO According to the traditional interpretation of Progressivism, the corruption unearthed by the muckrakers stimulated the citizenry to rise up in righteous indignation and restore lost virtue in the political economy by such means as the Bureau of Corporations (1903), the Clayton Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act (both 1914), and major amendments to the Interstate Commerce Act (1903, 1906, 1910). For many years the historians' favorite example was Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle, the revolted readers of which allegedly demanded passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act (both 1906). During the past twenty years historians increasingly have abandoned this simplistic view of the causal relation between the muckrakers' revelations and the landmark Progressive statutes, but in their revisions they have done little to refute the original allegations of widespread corporate corruption.

In an argument that mere facts seem powerless to refute once and for all-it was resurrected in the 1960s by John Kenneth Galbraith-Ross forecasted that a "wise majority" of managers, technicians, planners, and bureaucrats would gain increasing power at the expense of politicians. 24 Surrounding the intellectual enterprise of the Progressive Era, motivating many of its concerns, framing many of its questions, and establishing the normative context of its analyses, was socialism. After 1900, nearly all American reformers, Progressives as well as doctrinaire Marxists, exhibited some socialistic elements in their thinking and ideals. Plainly as an arouser of emotions, if not as a practical political platform, socialism had proved a success in America. Its sentimental aspects were propagated by literary socialists such as William Dean Howells and Upton Sinclair, while its infectious economic doctrines were woven into the social criticism of Henry Demarest Lloyd and Richard T. Ely. Collegiate socialism was in vogue at all the better colleges and universities and colored the thinking of many young radicals, including [Walter] Lippmann and [Randolph] Bourne. Socialism supplied the critique, if not the technique, for much Progressive reform; and though not always recognized, its effect was felt in all social sciences. 25 Such an intellectual atmosphere suffocated the defenders of the old order.


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Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

But the even greater economic potential of self-driving cars is that they could potentially double road capacity by reducing spacing between cars and jams caused by a whole host of idiosyncratic human behaviors. If that spurs people who would have stayed home to take new trips, we’ll have to double fuel economy just to hold even. Reducing overall emissions would require dramatic increases in efficiency to keep up with the expanding volume of traffic. It shouldn’t surprise us to find these cycles of increasing consumption that lead nowhere. They are endemic to industrial capitalism. In The Jungle, Upton Sinclair’s reality drama about the harsh working conditions of the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the twentieth century, we learn about the process of “speeding-up the gang” used by slaughterhouse bosses to boost output. “There were portions of the work which determined the pace of the rest, and for these they had picked men whom they paid high wages, and whom they changed frequently. You might easily pick out these pacemakers, for they worked under the eye of the bosses, and they worked like men possessed.”63 In smart cities, technologies of automation take the place of the speed-up men.

., “City boundaries and the universality of scaling laws,” January 8, 2013, http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.1674. 56Cosma Rohilla Shalizi, “Scaling and Hierarchy in Urban Economies,” ARXIV, e-print arXiv:1102.4101, February 2011, http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.4101. 57Steve Lohr, “SimCity, for Real: Measuring an Untidy Metropolis,” New York Times, February 23, 2013, BU3. 58Geoffrey West, lecture, Urban Systems Symposium, New York University, New York City, May 12, 2012. 59“Thinking Cities: ICT is Changing the Game,” Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, last modified February 24, 2012, http://www.ericsson.com/news/120221_thinking_cities_ict_is_ changing_the_game_244159020_c. 60Hirshberg, interview, October 26, 2011. 61Michael Batty, interview, August 19, 2010. 62William Bruce Cameron, Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking (New York: Random House, 1967) 13. 63Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (New York: The Jungle Pub. Co., 1906), 67. 64Elan Miller, “Redesigning Lost & Found,” Still Hungry, Still Foolish, blog, last modified December 14, 2011, http://elanmiller.com/post/14214715871/redesigning-lost-found. Acknowledgments I’ve had the great fortune of working with a number of mentors who have shaped my understanding of cities and technology and how they shape each other.

What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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banking crisis, British Empire, Doomsday Clock, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, informal economy, liberation theology, mass immigration, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

See specific individuals, agencies, and policies University of Chicago economists Uruguay V Varadarajan, Siddharth Venezuela see also Chávez, Hugo Vida Urbana (City Life) Vietnam War opposition to W Waldman, Paul Wall Street Journal Walt, Stephen Walzer, Michael Washington Post water Welles, Sumner Wiesel, Elie Williams, Juan Wilson, Woodrow Winship, Tom Wolfowitz, Paul World Bank World Court Y Yemen Yunus, Muhammad Z Zinn, Howard ABOUT THE AUTHORS NOAM CHOMSKY is the author of numerous bestselling political works, including Hegemony or Survival and Failed States. A professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts. DAVID BARSAMIAN, director of the award-winning and widely syndicated Alternative Radio, is the winner of the Lannan Foundation’s 2006 Cultural Freedom Fellowship and the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism. Barsamian lives in Boulder, Colorado. THE AMERICAN EMPIRE PROJECT In an era of unprecedented military strength, leaders of the United States, the global hyperpower, have increasingly embraced imperial ambitions. How did this significant shift in purpose and policy come about? And what lies down the road? The American Empire Project is a response to the changes that have occurred in American’s strategic thinking as well as in its military and economic posture.


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Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

Although we share with many others a vision for greatness, we understand that our path toward it is very different from theirs. Following Sherman and Isocrates, we understand that ego is our enemy on that journey, so that when we do achieve our success, it will not sink us but make us stronger. TALK, TALK, TALK Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know. —LAO TZU In his famous 1934 campaign for the governorship of California, the author and activist Upton Sinclair took an unusual step. Before the election, he published a short book titled I, Governor of California and How I Ended Poverty, in which he outlined, in the past tense, the brilliant policies he had enacted as governor . . . the office he had not yet won. It was an untraditional move from an untraditional campaign, intended to leverage Sinclair’s best asset—as an author, he knew he could communicate with the public in a way that others couldn’t.

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, drone strike, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Powell Memorandum, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, single-payer health, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tobin tax, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

., 24 Tunisia, 44–45, 48–49, 53, 67, 112–13 Turkey, 51, 89–94 human rights violations, 89–92 -Israel relations, 92–94 Kurds, 89–92 Turkmenistan, 17 Twitter, 105, 145 UNASUR, 161 unemployment, 22–23, 38, 66, 76 United Arab Emirates, 8, 15, 49 United Auto Workers, 25 United Nations, 46, 50–52, 115, 162, 163 universal genome, 129 universal grammar, 126–29 universities, 150–53, 165–68 corporatization of, 152, 167–68 sports, 165–66 uprisings, 44–64 Arab Spring, 44–55, 60–64, 67, 112–13, 168 Egypt, 44–49, 60–64 Libya, 50–54 Vietnam War, 1–3, 15, 31, 64, 97 visual system, 141 voting, 81, 84, 117–18 Wallerstein, Immanuel, 77 Wall Street Journal, 54, 169 Walmart, 9 war, 13–18, 20 crimes, 114–17 Warfalla, 50 Washington, George, 3 Weathermen, 74 Weimar Republic, 25, 27–29 Weisskopf, Victor, 149, 154 welfare, 82–83, 84, 87 Western Sahara, 46 “When Elites Fail” (Chomsky), 22 Wiesel, Elie, 94 WikiLeaks, 99, 107–13 Wilson, Woodrow, 13, 23 Wisconsin, labor demonstrations in, 40–43 Wolf, Martin, 78 Wolff, Richard, 88 women’s rights, 79, 150, 177 World Bank, 47 World Trade Organization, 107 World War II, 5, 7, 56, 57, 115–16 Yemen, 49, 114 Yglesias, Matthew, 59, 63 YouTube, 104 Zaire, 17 Zinn, Howard, 1, 22, 78 About the Authors NOAM CHOMSKY is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including Hegemony or Survival and Failed States. A professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, he is widely credited with having revolutionized modern linguistics. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts. DAVID BARSAMIAN, director of the award-winning and widely syndicated Alternative Radio (www.alternativeradio.org), is the winner of the Lannan Foundation’s Cultural Freedom Fellowship and the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism. Barsamian lives in Boulder, Colorado. Chomsky and Barsamian have collaborated on two previous books for the American Empire Project: Imperial Ambitions and What We Say Goes. The American Empire Project In an era of unprecedented military strength, leaders of the United States, the global hyperpower, have increasingly embraced imperial ambitions.

Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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British Empire, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, liberation theology, Monroe Doctrine, offshore financial centre, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Westphalian system

In these exchanges, appearing for the first time in print, Chomsky offers his frank, provocative, and informed views on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the doctrine of preemptive strikes against so-called rogue states, and the growing threat to international peace posed by the U.S. drive for domination. In his inimitable style, Chomsky also dissects the propaganda system that fabricates a mythic past and airbrushes inconvenient facts out of history. Barsamian, a recipient of the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, has conducted more interviews and radio broadcasts with Chomsky than any other journalist. Enriched by their unique rapport, Imperial Ambitions explores new ground, including the 2004 presidential campaign and election, the future of Social Security, and the increasing threat of global warming. The result is an enlightening dialogue with one of the leading thinkers of our time, a startling picture of the turbulent world in which we live, and an affirmation of the many possibilities for a more hopeful and humane future.


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To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disintermediation, future of work, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, out of africa, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E, zero-sum game

So now, in order to move people to move themselves, she tells them, “I need your expertise.” Patients heal faster and better when they’re part of the moving process. Health care and education both revolve around non-sales selling: the ability to influence, to persuade, and to change behavior while striking a balance between what others want and what you can provide them. And the rising prominence of this dual sector is potentially transformative. Since novelist Upton Sinclair coined the term around 1910, and sociologist C. Wright Mills made it widespread forty years later, experts and laypeople alike have talked about “white-collar” workers. But now, as populations age and require more care and as economies grow more complex and demand increased learning, a new type of worker is emerging. We may be entering something closer to a “white coat/white chalk” economy,17 where Ed-Med is the dominant sector and where moving others is at the core of how we earn a living


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End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

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airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, debt deflation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gordon Gekko, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, We are the 99%, working poor, Works Progress Administration

But my guess—and it can’t be more than that, given how little we understand some of these channels of influence—is that the biggest contribution of rising inequality to the depression we’re in was and is political. When we ask why policy makers were so blind to the risks of financial deregulation—and, since 2008, why they have been so blind to the risks of an inadequate response to the economic slump—it’s hard not to recall Upton Sinclair’s famous line: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Money buys influence; big money buys big influence; and the policies that got us where we are, while they never did much for most people, were, for a while at least, very good to a few people at the top. The Elite and the Political Economy of Bad Policies In 1998, as I mentioned in chapter 4, Citicorp—the holding company for Citibank—merged with Travelers Group to form what we now know as Citigroup.


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The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell

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anti-work, British Empire, Etonian, place-making, Upton Sinclair

A little while ago, when the issues were less clear, there were writers of some vitality who called themselves Socialists, but they were using the word as a vague label. Thus, if Ibsen and Zola described themselves as Socialists, it did not mean much more than that they were ‘progressives’, while in the case of Anatole France it meant merely that he was an anticlerical. The real Socialist writers, the propagandist writers, have always been dull, empty windbags – Shaw, Barbusse, Upton Sinclair, William Morris, Waldo Frank, etc. etc. I am not, of course, suggesting that Socialism is to be condemned because literary gents don’t like it; I am not even suggesting that it ought necessarily to produce literature on its own account, though I do think it a bad sign that it has produced no songs worth singing. I am merely pointing to the fact that writers of genuine talent are usually indifferent to Socialism, and sometimes actively and mischievously hostile.


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Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time by Clark Blaise

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British Empire, creative destruction, Dava Sobel, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Khartoum Gordon, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair

Where the critics have under-served him is in emphasizing Carrie’s sexuality, not Dreiser’s radical analysis of social instability that had come about as a result of speed, a change in the pace of change. The avant-garde doesn’t always look shockingly new. Sometimes it lumbers around in earnest, sober, institutional prose. The new century in America was greeted by a revolutionary work that looked like, and sounded like (its critics charged), a lame, Midwestern imitation of Zola, or Thomas Hardy, slightly less didactic than Frank Norris or Upton Sinclair, nowhere as lyrical as Jack London or Stephen Crane. In Dreiser’s naturalistic universe, two moral codes (like two velocities) cannot coexist. The stronger, however one defines it—the cruder, the hungrier, the more sexually satisfying or more life-affirming, or, in terms of this book, the more energetic, the faster—must always triumph. Much later in his career, in An American Tragedy, he opened on an even more explicit image of the same conflict: on a cold city street, a family of evangelicals peddle their piety in music and pamphlets, posing a moral challenge to indifferent urban values.


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Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter

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agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asilomar, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

The response? According to the latest data released by the federal government in 2008, echinacea remains the most heavily used supplement in the childhood arsenal. (It is still wildly popular with adults too, but fish oil is now in greater demand.) Almost no restrictions were placed on the sale of supplements, vitamins, or other home remedies until 1906, when, reacting to the revelations in Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act. The law permitted the Bureau of Chemistry, which preceded the Food and Drug Administration, to ensure that labels contained no false or misleading advertising. Since then, the pendulum has swung regularly between unregulated anarchy and restrictions that outrage many Americans. In 1922, the American Medical Association made an effort to limit the indiscriminate use of vitamins, describing their widespread promotion as “gigantic fraud.”


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How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas J. Dilorenzo

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banking crisis, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Norman Mailer, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, rent-seeking, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, wealth creators, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

If all this is accomplished, says Schlosser, the great day may arrive when restaurants sell “free-range, organic, grass-fed hamburgers.”31 It is remarkable how Schlosser does little more than repackage some of the same old myths about capitalism that earlier generations of muckraking journalists perpetrated. Indeed, on the back of the paperback edition of Fast Food Nation is a blurb from the San Francisco Chronicle proclaiming that Schlosser is “channeling the spirits of Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson.” Sinclair was the early-twentieth-century socialist author of the book The Jungle, which turned out to be a wildly inaccurate and unfair portrayal of the beef industry. Rachel Carson’s fable about the allegedly disastrous effects of pesticides, Silent Spring, became a classic of the environmental movement despite the fact that is was indeed a fable. Full of gross exaggerations, this enormously popular book was so influential that pesticides were banned in certain Third World countries, causing massive crop failures due to insect infestations and contributing to literally thousands of deaths.


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Waiting for Superman: How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools by Participant Media, Karl Weber

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collective bargaining, feminist movement, hiring and firing, index card, knowledge economy, Menlo Park, Robert Gordon, school choice, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

This story of how the KIPP schools raised the achievement of impoverished students to unprecedented levels was a New York Times best seller. Mathews has won the Education Writers Association National Education Reporting Award and the Benjamin Fine Award for Outstanding Education Reporting, as well as the Eugene Meyer Award, the Washington Post’s top honor for distinguished service to the newspaper. In 2009 he received the Upton Sinclair Award for being “a beacon of light in the realm of education.” When writing about schools, even very good schools, I try to avoid using the word “miracle.” It is the clunkiest cliché in the education writer’s vocabulary, used too often and invariably incorrectly. But what I saw three decades ago in a small classroom at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles turned out to be pretty close to miraculous, at least in the sense of being totally unexpected and far beyond the range of normal experience.


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Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, carried interest, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Emanuel Derman, housing crisis, I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations, illegal immigration, Internet of things, late fees, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Sharpe ratio, statistical model, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor

Armour and Co. dispatched cans of rotten beef by the ton to US Army troops, using a layer of boric acid to mask the stench. Meanwhile, rapacious monopolists dominated the railroads, energy companies, and utilities and jacked up customers’ rates, which amounted to a tax on the national economy. Clearly, the free market could not control its excesses. So after journalists like Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair exposed these and other problems, the government stepped in. It established safety protocols and health inspections for food, and it outlawed child labor. With the rise of unions, and the passage of laws safeguarding them, our society moved toward eight-hour workdays and weekends off. These new standards protected companies that didn’t want to exploit workers or sell tainted foods, because their competitors had to follow the same rules.


Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages by Carlota Pérez

agricultural Revolution, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, Bretton Woods, capital controls, commoditize, Corn Laws, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, distributed generation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Hyman Minsky, informal economy, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, late capitalism, market fundamentalism, new economy, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, post-industrial society, profit motive, railway mania, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus

Each time around, what can be considered a ‘new economy’ takes root where the old economy had been faltering. But it is all achieved in a violent, wasteful and painful manner. The new wealth that accumulates at one end is often more than counterbalanced by the poverty that spreads at the other end. This is in fact the period when capitalism shows its ugliest and most callous face. It is the time depicted by Charles Dickens and Upton Sinclair, by Friedrich Engels and Thorstein Veblen; the time when the rich get richer with arrogance and the poor get poorer through no fault of their own; when part of the population celebrates prosperity and the other portion (generally much larger) experiences The Turbulent Ending of the Twentieth Century 5 outright deterioration and decline. It is certainly a broken society, a two-faced world.


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Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

California gold rush, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, endowment effect, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, God and Mammon, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, New Journalism, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence, yellow journalism

“We will see Standard Oil in hell before we will let any set of men tell us how to run our business,” an unreconstructed Henry Rogers swore.7 Unwilling to compromise, Standard officials dealt with government officials as roughly as they did with business competitors. At this precarious moment, the trust needed a master diplomat, not the hotheaded Archbold. In 1906, Roosevelt signed a stack of bills to curb industrial abuses. Profiting from the outcry prompted by Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle, he signed the meat-inspection bill and the Pure Food and Drug Act. Identifying railroad discrimination as a major issue, he supported the Hepburn bill, which granted broader power to the Interstate Commerce Commission to set railroad rates and placed interstate pipelines under its domain. By bringing Standard Oil to heel, Roosevelt hoped to check two abuses at once: railroad collusion and industrial monopoly.

As one Cleveland paper said, “The charred bodies of two dozen women and children show that Rockefeller knows how to win.”25 John Lawson castigated Junior for these “hellish acts” and sneered that he “may ease his conscience by attending Sunday school regularly in New York but he will never be acquitted of committing the horrible atrocities.”26 Others regarded Junior as an errand boy for his father, and even Helen Keller, once helped so generously by Henry Rogers and Rockefeller, now told the press, “Mr. Rockefeller is the monster of capitalism. He gives charity and in the same breath he permits the helpless workmen, their wives and children to be shot down.” 27 A show of penitence on Junior’s part might have placated the public, but his defensive moralizing invited a severe backlash. In late April, Upton Sinclair sent a “solemn warning” to Junior: “I intend this night to indict you upon a charge of murder before the people of this country. . . . But before I take this step, I wish to give you every opportunity of fair play.”28 When Junior did not respond to his requested interview, Sinclair spearheaded a demonstration outside 26 Broadway, a “mourning parade” of pickets dressed in black armbands, their ranks swollen, at one point, by a delegation from Ludlow.

Many critics faulted Lee for playing fast and loose with the facts when he grossly overstated the pay given to strike leaders by the union, dished out scabrous stories about Mother Jones’s supposed early career as a brothel madam, and blamed the Ludlow Massacre on an overturned tent stove instead of militia gunfire. The literary fraternity skewered him: Carl Sandburg published an article called “Ivy Lee—Paid Liar”; Upton Sinclair memorably branded him “Poison Ivy”; and Robert Benchley later mocked him for suggesting that “the present capitalist system is really a branch of the Quaker Church, carrying on the work begun by St. Francis of Assisi.” 51 Initially, Lee repeated the error that had landed the Rockefellers in trouble in the first place: He relied upon slanted reports from CFI executives. After some embarrassing gaffes, he traveled out West in August 1914 and returned with a more balanced picture.


pages: 879 words: 309,222

Nobody's Perfect: Writings From the New Yorker by Anthony Lane

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, colonial rule, dark matter, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, Index librorum prohibitorum, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, moral hazard, Norman Mailer, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, The Great Good Place, trade route, University of East Anglia, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, urban planning

Hence those delightful moments when the polemic stops and a tiny, hopeless scrap of stage business starts up, does its stuff, and dies. Here is Marc in full flow: “Even when people don’t dislike you, even when they really like you, you still make them feel slightly self-conscious, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just because they’ve been brought up to regard Jews as ‘different.’ Do you want a biscuit?” On to No. 8: Dragon Harvest, by Upton Sinclair. This is the only one of the top ten books that tries to be up to the minute. The action gets going in the South of France in 1939, and runs out of steam just as Paris is falling to the Germans. And, wherever the action is, there is Lanny Budd. Lanny is all things to all men. To some he is a playboy and an art dealer, son of the beautiful Beauty Budd; to others he is a sympathetic ear, listening gently as his good friends Hitler and Chamberlain explain why they must or must not go to war; to a select few he is a secret agent, dispatched by America to bring her the truth.

Right from the second page, when I learned that Lanny “permitted himself no vices,” I knew I was going to loathe this man. O.K., he saves the world and all, but anything less than universal justice is beneath him; you wouldn’t trust him to feed your cat over the weekend. Also, does he have to schmooze Adolf and the rest of the boys with quite such gusto? Lanny’s pretense of enthusiasm is so thorough that even the author seems to be taken in. Here is Upton Sinclair, standard-bearer of anti-fascism, on the charms of der Führer: “To be near him was like living in the midst of a tornado, like being in a Vulcan forge where new universes were being wrought.” It’s the old Miltonic story: when your hero is a wimp, the villain steals the scene. This is bad luck for Sinclair, because the only justification for Dragon Harvest is to dramatize Allied propaganda.

But that would never do. Reading The Fountainhead after Dragon Harvest put a fresh slant on Rand’s achievement. What may have come across in wartime as single-minded striving now reads like a crash course in the Will to Power, and Roark, for all his steely modernist intentions, reminded me less of Mies van der Rohe than of Albert Speer—or, indeed, of the volcanic Führer who erupts into the imagination of Upton Sinclair. The more Rand insists that her hero is not like other men, that he barely notices them, the less suitable he appears as a role model for Roosevelt’s America. It is only the fact of his “preposterous orange hair” that disqualifies him from becoming the perfect Aryan. “The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing,” he announces at the end, having dynamited one of his own constructions.

The death and life of great American cities by Jane Jacobs

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City Beautiful movement, Golden Gate Park, Gunnar Myrdal, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen

The Back-of-the-Yards in Chicago survived and improved after its death warrant had seemingly been sealed; it did so with a different kind of extraordinary resource. So far as I know, the Back-of-the-Yards is the only city district which has met the common problem of credit blacklisting head on and overcome it by direct means. To understand how it was able to do so, it is necessary to understand a little of the history of this district. The Back-of-the-Yards used to be a notorious slum. When the great muckraker and crusader, Upton Sinclair, wanted to describe the dregs of city life and human exploitation in his book. The Jungle, it was the Back-of-the-Yards and its associated stockyards he chose to portray. People from there who sought jobs outside the district gave false addresses, as late as the 1930's, to avoid the discrimination that then attached to residence there. Physically, as recently as 1953, the district, a hodgepodge of weather-beaten buildings, was a classic example of the sort of locality which it is conventionally believed must be bulldozed away entire.

The Back-of-the-Yards in Chicago survived and improved after its death warrant had seemingly been sealed; it did so with a different kind of extraordinary resource. So far as I know, the Back-of-the-Yards is the only city district which has met the common problem of credit blackhsting head on and overcome it by direct means. To understand how it was able to do so, it is necessary to understand a little of the history of this district. The Back-of-the-Yards used to be a notorious slum. When the great muckraker and crusader, Upton Sinclair, wanted to describe the dregs of city life and human exploitation in his book. The Jungle, it was the Back-of-the-Yards and its associated stockyards he chose to portray. People from there who sought jobs outside the district gave false addresses, as late as the 1930's, to avoid the discrimination that then attached to residence there. Physically, as recently as 1953, the district, a hodgepodge of weather-beaten buildings, was a classic example of the sort of locality which it is conventionally believed must be bulldozed away entire.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Parag Khanna, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

It was a term with resonance in the United States because for so long the country had prided itself on not having a feudal past like Europe’s. The sprawling native-born white middle class also associated the often violent strikes and protests of the closing decades of the nineteenth century with European inspiration. Only slowly did labor win the favor of the public watching on the sidelines. People were concerned when corporate indifference threatened the food they ate. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle to awaken his fellow citizens to the terrible labor conditions in meat-packing plants. Almost incidentally he detailed how sausages were packed with various impurities like sawdust. Those vivid descriptions stuck in readers’ minds. Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and a Pure Food and Drug Act the same year as The Jungle’s publication in 1906. States also began to legislate to protect workingwomen and children.

Nelson Lichtenstein, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton, 2002), 4; Karen Orren, Belated Feudalism: Labor, The Law, And Liberal Developments In The United States (Cambridge, 1992); Irwin Unger, The Greenback Era: A Social and Political History of American Finance, 1865–1879 (Princeton, 1964), 22. 16. Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warren, The Gilded Age (New York, 1973); Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (New York, 1906). 17. Walter G. Moss, An Age of Progress?: Clashing Twentieth-Century Global Forces (New York, 2008), 3–12. 18. Lisa Tiersten, “Redefining Consumer Culture: Recent Literature on Consumption and the Bourgeoisie in Western Europe,” Radical History Review, 57 (1995): 116–59. 19. Lisa Jacobson, Raising Consumers: Children and the American Mass Market in the Early Twentieth Century (New York, 2004). 20.


pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

David Bushell, CitiGroup’s head of risk, pointed out that everybody, including the regulators, assumed the same things. Citi’s behavior was merely a rational of poor business judgment. As John Kenneth Galbraith pointed out: “The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.... In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.” The large profits, as Upton Sinclair observed, made it “difficult...for a man to understand something if he’s paid a small fortune to not understand it.”51 In October 2008 Dean Jay Light told Harvard Business Schools students and alumni: We failed to understand how much the system had changed...and how fragile it might be because of increased leverage, decreased transparency and decreased liquidity...we have witnessed...a stunning and sobering failure of financial safeguards, of financial markets, of financial institutions and mostly of leadership at many levels.

John Maynard Keynes (1973) The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money in The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes, Macmillan, London: 321, 322. 5. Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw (2002) The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, Touchstone Books, New York: 125. 6. Quoted in Kai Bord and Martin J. Sherwin (2006) American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Vintage Books, New York: 62. 7. Upton Sinclair (1965) The Jungle, Dover Publications: 32. 8. Quoted in Peter Watson (2000) A Terrible Beauty: The People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Minds—A History, Phoenix Press, London: 81. 9. Philip Mirowski (2002) Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 203, 204. 10. Johan van Overtveldt (2007) The Chicago School: How the University of Chicago Assembled the Thinkers Who Revolutionised Economics and Business, Agate Books, Chicago: 9. 11.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

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1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

While 97 percent of active climate scientists believe humans are a major cause of climate change, the numbers are radically different among “economic geologists”—scientists who study natural formations so that they can be commercially exploited by the extractive industries. Only 47 percent of these scientists believe in human-caused climate change. The bottom line is that we are all inclined to denial when the truth is too costly—whether emotionally, intellectually, or financially. As Upton Sinclair famously observed: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”36 Plan B: Get Rich off a Warming World One of the most interesting findings of the many recent studies on climate perceptions is the clear connection between a refusal to accept the science of climate change and social and economic privilege. Overwhelmingly, climate change deniers are not only conservative but also white and male, a group with higher than average incomes.

“Factsheet: Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow,” ExxonSecrets.org, Greenpeace USA, http://www.exxonsecrets.org; Suzanne Goldenberg, “Secret Funding Helped Build Vast Network of Climate Denial Thinktanks,” Guardian, February 14, 2013. 35. Lawrence C. Hamilton, “Climate Change: Partisanship, Understanding, and Public Opinion,” Carsey Institute, Spring 2011, p. 4; “Vast Majority Agree Climate Is Changing,” Forum Research, July 24, 2013, p. 1, http://www.forumresearch.com. 36. Doran and Zimmerman, “Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” 23; Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 109. 37. Personal email communication with Aaron McCright, September 30, 2011; Aaron McCright and Riley Dunlap, “Cool Dudes: The Denial of Climate Change Among Conservative White Males in the United States,” Global Environmental Change 21 (2011): 1167, 1171. 38. Session 5: Sharpening the Scientific Debate (video), The Heartland Institute; Chris Hooks, “State Climatologist: Drought Officially Worst on Record,” Texas Tribune, April 4, 2011; Keynote Address (video), The Heartland Institute, July 1, 2011; “France Heat Wave Death Toll Set at 14,802,” Associated Press, September 25, 2003; Keynote Address (video), The Heartland Institute, June 30, 2011. 39.


pages: 372 words: 96,474

Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States (P.S.) by Pete Jordan

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big-box store, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Haight Ashbury, index card, Mason jar, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, wage slave

article—was so hokey that other newspapers around the country ran it as well. In another article, the sloppy journalism by the reporter led him to claim that the name of the zine was Dishwasher Pete. He alleged I’d dished in Fairbanks, Alaska (never had), and Alabama (hadn’t yet). He further claimed, “Dishwasher Pete could be to restaurant kitchens what Sinclair Lewis was to butcher shops.” I could’ve been wrong, but I believed the nitwit meant to compare me with Upton Sinclair and his 140 Dishwasher work in changing conditions in the meatpacking industry! (Which, of course, I wasn’t.) In total, the article contained forty-six errors. Another newspaper writer, after listening to me explain why I wasn’t interested in being interviewed, had the gall to use our off-the-record phone conversation to write his article. One journalist asked me, “What makes Dishwasher Pete run?”


pages: 142 words: 18,753

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Community Supported Agriculture, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

Similarly, the enlightened Williams-Sonoma catalogue doesn’t try to flog us morally neutral sausages. The sausage links it advertises derive, the catalogue informs us, from the secrets of curing that Native Americans taught the first European settlers in Virginia (the mention of Native Americans gives the product six moral points right off the bat). The “sausages are made from pure pork and natural spices, using family recipes passed down through the generations.” This is not some Upton Sinclair jungle but a noble lineage of craftsman sausage makers, and we members of the educated elite are willing to pay $29.50 for 24 little links in order to tap in to this heritage. Shopping, like everything else, has become a means of self-exploration and self-expression. “Happiness,” as Wallace Stevens wrote, “is an acquisition.” Nor is it only our own selfish interests that we care about on our shopping forays.


pages: 376 words: 110,321

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

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Albert Einstein, British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society, haute cuisine, Kitchen Debate, Louis Pasteur, refrigerator car, sexual politics, the scientific method, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E

Fresh meat no longer had to be slaughtered and used immediately. “Dressed beef” could be cooled, stored, and shipped anywhere. The new refrigerated cars had fierce critics, as do all new food technologies. Local butchers and slaughterhouses objected to the loss of business and lamented Chicago’s growing monopoly on meat (and judging from the horrific conditions in Chicago meatpacking factories described in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, they may have had a point). More generally, the population at large was scared of the very thing that made refrigeration so useful: its ability to extend the storage time of food. Alongside the growth in refrigerated cars was a huge growth in cold-storage warehouses. By 1915, 100 million tons of butter in America were in cold storage. Critics argued that “delayed storage” could not be good for the food, reducing its palatability and nutritional value.


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

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agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, mass immigration, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

But most seriously, as our global population grows to nine billion and beyond and agricultural productivity slows, another Green Revolution propelled by agricultural innovations will become increasingly imperative. Food prices have been rising, contributing to political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, and help on this front seems far away. Countries are stockpiling foodstuffs; and when prices spike, governments shut down food exports with the ostensible goal of feeding their populations. The global trade network isn’t as robust as we have wanted to believe. Since Upton Sinclair self-published The Jungle, his exposé of the meat packing industry in Chicago in 1906, Americans have been repeatedly alerted to disturbing realities of their food quality and economy. However, this is an especially critical moment. When it comes to food, the whole world needs some big changes. These changes will happen only gradually, but this book is about how you can start eating better food now for your own good and for everyone else’s.


pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

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AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Of course, a determined adversary would likely be able to connect the dots between Ida and me. But I wasn’t looking for perfect; I just wanted to force the trackers to put some effort into tracking me specifically, rather than sweeping up data about me effortlessly. I chose Ida because she is part of a generation of journalists that I admire. Known as “muckrakers,” investigative journalists such as Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair exposed the underbelly of the industrial revolution, from monopolistic price gouging by the trusts to working conditions in slaughterhouses. Their work led to laws that reined in the worst excesses of the era. I believe that today we are at a similar turning point. As our nation shifts toward an information economy, there are few laws policing the booming industry giants and few governmental or nonprofit institutions with the technical savvy to police the information economy.


pages: 265 words: 15,515

Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike by Eugene W. Holland

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capital controls, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, deskilling, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, price mechanism, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, slashdot, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wage slave, working poor

Saul Alinsky is no doubt the best-known propo­ nent and practitioner of neighborhood organization as a political weapon for the urban dispossessed, although it is not clear the extent to which his and his followers’ neighborhood groups are self-organizing and the extent to which they are organized in top-down fashion by more or less profes­ sional community organizers (community organizing having become a branch of the social work profession after World War I). Alinksy started organizing in the infamous “Back of the Yards” area of Chicago (featured in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle) in the late 1930s and had developed a nationwide strategy for and network of neighborhood organizations by the time he died in 1972. And neighborhood organization has been and continues to be pursued by a variety of groups, including the American Communist Party, labor unions, the Black Panther Party, and others less well known and too numerous to mention. In the waning decades of the twentieth century, there may have been as many as ten thousand neigh­ borhood organizations in New York City alone and six times that many in the country as a whole.33 Whatever the practical successes and failures of the neighborhood or­ ganization movement on the ground, Follett’s perspective harbors a more serious, theoretical problem: like anarchists and communitarians in this respect, she focuses for the most part on fairly small-scale, territorially concentrated, face-to-face groups (first the neighborhood organization, later the business enterprise).


pages: 353 words: 110,919

The Road to Character by David Brooks

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Cass Sunstein, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, George Santayana, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, New Journalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

My own silence, the feeling that I had no one to talk to overwhelmed me so that my very throat was constricted; my heart was heavy with unuttered thoughts; I wanted to weep my loneliness away.”7 During this lonely period she became indignant at the poverty she saw in New York, its different smell from the poverty she had seen in Chicago. “Everyone must go through something analogous to a conversion,” she would later write, “conversion to an idea, a thought, a desire, a dream, a vision—without vision the people perish. In my teens I read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Jack London’s The Road and became converted to the poor, to a love for and desire to be always with the poor and suffering—the workers of the world. I was converted to the idea of the Messianic mission of the proletariat.” Russia was very much on people’s minds then. Russian writers defined the spiritual imagination. The Russian Revolution inflamed young radicals’ visions for the future.


pages: 273 words: 34,920

Free Market Missionaries: The Corporate Manipulation of Community Values by Sharon Beder

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anti-communist, battle of ideas, business climate, corporate governance, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, income inequality, invisible hand, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Powell Memorandum, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, risk/return, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, spread of share-ownership, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Torches of Freedom, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, young professional

The corporation seemed to be ‘driven by a cold economic logic that defined its every decision as a money equation’.6 By the early decades of the 20th century, a period sometimes referred to as the ‘progressive era’ or the ‘muckraking era’, public opposition to corporate economic power was increasing. So-called muckraking journalists effectively exposed the corruption, exploitation and inhuman working conditions by which the majority of the great corporations had prospered. Magazines such as McClures, Everybodys, Cosmopolitan, Colliers and The American carried exposés of big business activities. Authors such as Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbells, Tom Lawson, Gustavus Myers and others revealed the realities of the power of these corporations.7 The respect once commanded by those who owned and headed these corporations was progressively eroded as the ruthless exploitation involved in building up THE FREE MARKET GOSPEL 3 their empires was disclosed. Public opposition was so great that as Fortune Magazine later observed of this period, ‘business did not discover . . . until its reputation was all but destroyed . . . that in a democracy nothing is more important than public opinion’.8 As the company mergers continued and the influence of these large conglomerates on government became evident, there was increasing public concern about the centralization of so much power in so few hands, and the degree to which competition was being curtailed by these mergers.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

Let the children once see clearly the gross injustice of our present land system and when they grow up, if they are allowed to develop naturally, the evil will soon be remedied. The Landlord’s Game never became a mass hit, but over the years it developed an underground following. It circulated, samizdat-style, through a number of communities, with individually crafted game boards and rule books dutifully transcribed by hand. Students at Harvard, Columbia, and the Wharton School played the game late into the night; Upton Sinclair was introduced to the game in a Delaware planned community called Arden; a cluster of Quakers in Atlantic City, New Jersey, adopted it as a regular pastime. As it traveled, the rules and terminology evolved. Fixed prices were added to each of the properties. The Wharton players first began calling it “the monopoly game.” And the Quakers added the street names from Atlantic City that would become iconic, from Baltic to Boardwalk.


pages: 342 words: 86,256

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

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A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

▲In all fairness, my comment refers principally to the municipal and DOT engineers who must approve the projects that I plan. There are now more than a handful of professional transportation engineers who do their best to share information on induced demand. I have also had good experiences recently working with municipal engineers in Carmel, Indiana; Cedar Rapids; and Fort Lauderdale. But, for most of the profession, Upton Sinclair’s famous observation still holds sway: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ●AAA: “Your Driving Costs,” 2010 edition, 7. The marginal operating cost of most vehicles is well below twenty cents per mile. This explains why Zipcar and the other urban car-share programs are so effective at reducing auto use. According to the company website, each “Zipcar takes at least 15 personally-owned vehicles off the road.”


pages: 324 words: 93,175

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

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Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Burning Man, business process, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, second-price auction, software as a service, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, young professional

People mostly think about their bonuses and about what they will be able to afford.” In response, I asked the audience to try on the idea that the focus on their upcoming bonuses might have a negative effect on their performance, but they refused to see my point. Maybe it was the alcohol, but I suspect that those folks simply didn’t want to acknowledge the possibility that their bonuses were vastly oversized. (As the prolific author and journalist Upton Sinclair once noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”) Somewhat unsurprisingly, when presented with the results of these experiments, the bankers also maintained that they were, apparently, superspecial individuals; unlike most people, they insisted, they work better under stress. It didn’t seem to me that they were really so different from other people, but I conceded that perhaps they were right.


pages: 383 words: 108,266

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

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air freight, Al Roth, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, endowment effect, financial innovation, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, invisible hand, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, market bubble, Murray Gell-Mann, payday loans, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair

We can hope to surround ourselves with good, moral people, but we have to be realistic. Even good people are not immune to being partially blinded by their own minds. This blindness allows them to take actions that bypass their own moral standards on the road to financial rewards. In essence, motivation can play tricks on us whether or not we are good, moral people. As the author and journalist Upton Sinclair once noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” We can now add the following thought: it is even more difficult to get a man to understand something when he is dealing with nonmonetary currencies. THE PROBLEMS OF dishonesty, by the way, don’t apply just to individuals. In recent years we have seen business in general succumb to a lower standard of honesty.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

At the same time all of these countries’ global ecological footprints already far exceed Earth’s capacity: it would take four planets for everyone in the world to live as they do in Sweden, Canada and the US, and five planets for all to live like an Australian or Kuwaiti.16 Does this suggest that, while aiming to get into the Doughnut, high-income countries should give up on the pursuit of GDP growth and accept that it might no longer be possible? That is not a comfortable question to consider. As Upton Sinclair famously noted, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’17 Some staff at the OECD must be struggling with this now because, whether or not growth can be green and equitable, it doesn’t look like growth is coming in some of the world’s richest nations. The average GDP growth rate of 13 long-standing OECD member countries had fallen from over 5% in the early 1960s to under 2% by 2011.18 Diverse reasons for this have been suggested, from shrinking and ageing populations, falling labour productivity, and an overhang of debt to widening wealth inequality, rising commodity prices, and the costs of responding to climate change.19 Whatever the mix of reasons in each country, the declining long-term GDP growth trend raises the very real possibility that these economies could be close to the top of their S curves, with growth tailing off.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

We can hope to surround ourselves with good, moral people, but we have to be realistic. Even good people are not immune to being partially blinded by their own minds. This blindness allows them to take actions that bypass their own moral standards on the road to financial rewards. In essence, motivation can play tricks on us whether or not we are good, moral people. As the author and journalist Upton Sinclair once noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” We can now add the following thought: it is even more difficult to get a man to understand something when he is dealing with nonmonetary currencies. THE PROBLEMS OF dishonesty, by the way, don’t apply just to individuals. In recent years we have seen business in general succumb to a lower standard of honesty.

People mostly think about their bonuses and about what they will be able to afford.” In response, I asked the audience to try on the idea that the focus on their upcoming bonuses might have a negative effect on their performance, but they refused to see my point. Maybe it was the alcohol, but I suspect that those folks simply didn’t want to acknowledge the possibility that their bonuses were vastly oversized. (As the prolific author and journalist Upton Sinclair once noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”) Somewhat unsurprisingly, when presented with the results of these experiments, the bankers also maintained that they were, apparently, superspecial individuals; unlike most people, they insisted, they work better under stress. It didn’t seem to me that they were really so different from other people, but I conceded that perhaps they were right.


pages: 385 words: 133,839

The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink by Michael Blanding

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carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, Internet Archive, laissez-faire capitalism, market design, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Upton Sinclair

(The overtly racist coverage said more about the anxieties of the South after slavery, since the fiends were invari­ ably black and the women invariably white.) By the turn of the century, however, there was a wide backlash against patent medicines in general, as muckraking newspaper and magazine sto­ ries, starting with a series by Samuel Hopkins Adams in Collier’s in 1905, exposed what was really in those elixirs—including chloroform, turpentine, and an awful lot of alcohol. At the same time, the publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, which blew the lid off the dangers and lack of sanita­ tion in the meatpacking business, led to increasing strictures on what food manufacturers could put in the products that Americans ate. It was the dawn of the Progressive Era, a reaction to the excesses of Gilded Age cap­ italism, in which government increasingly clamped down with increased regulations. In this general climate, one man emerged as the flawed hero of the con­ sumer movement—Dr.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management, zero-sum game

But they ought to have available to them all the information they need to be well-rounded, informed citizens of a democracy Even a not very good newspaper—and most are not very good—broadens the horizons of its readers. By newspapers, I also mean something often neglected by those who have a better understanding of technology than of journalism. While good journalism can be practiced by individuals—think Upton Sinclair or I. F. Stone—it is often a collaborative effort, the result of teamwork rather than solitary labor. Story ideas are kicked around in a newsroom. A journalist reports a story and phones the editor, who makes suggestions and prods the reporter to probe various angles and seek different interviews. When the story is completed it is transmitted to the editor, who usually asks: “Are you sure about this fact?


pages: 479 words: 133,092

The Coke Machine by Michael Blanding

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carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, Internet Archive, laissez-faire capitalism, market design, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Upton Sinclair

(The overtly racist coverage said more about the anxieties of the South after slavery, since the fiends were invariably black and the women invariably white.) By the turn of the century, however, there was a wide backlash against patent medicines in general, as muckraking newspaper and magazine stories, starting with a series by Samuel Hopkins Adams in Collier’s in 1905, exposed what was really in those elixirs—including chloroform, turpentine, and an awful lot of alcohol. At the same time, the publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, which blew the lid off the dangers and lack of sanitation in the meatpacking business, led to increasing strictures on what food manufacturers could put in the products that Americans ate. It was the dawn of the Progressive Era, a reaction to the excesses of Gilded Age capitalism, in which government increasingly clamped down with increased regulations. In this general climate, one man emerged as the flawed hero of the consumer movement—Dr.


pages: 399 words: 155,913

The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law by Timothy Sandefur

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barriers to entry, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Edward Glaeser, housing crisis, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, minimum wage unemployment, positional goods, price stability, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, wealth creators

Henry Demarest Lloyd, for example, whose attacks on Standard Oil and other companies received wide attention in the years leading up to the adoption of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, complained that Standard ruthlessly “crush[ed] out the other refiners, who were its competitors”26 and that “hundreds and thousands of men have been ruined by . . . Standard and the railroads.”27 The Progressives accused big business of a wide variety of abusive and dangerous practices, including the allegedly unsanitary recklessness and corruption in the meat-packing industry, exposed in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. But to many Progressives, such abuses were only manifestations of a deeper problem: America’s obsolete infatuation with individualism. Attacks on the individualistic ethos and on economic self-interest were the major themes of Progressive writing.28 The “‘historical’ or ‘new’ school economists frequently proclaimed that modern conditions rendered competition wholly or partially obsolete as a governing principle,” writes one historian. 45 The Right to Earn a Living They “urged a new ethic of cooperation to replace older ideals of rivalry, at least in important sectors of the American economy.”29 Many Progressives were socialists; Edward Bellamy’s 1888 communist utopian novel Looking Backward, which originated the phrase “from cradle to grave,”30 was the most popular book of its day; it sold hundreds of thousands of copies and led to the formation of 150 socialistic “Bellamy Clubs” in communities across the country.31 Likewise, Henry Demarest Lloyd argued that “[a] society cannot be made of competitive units,”32 and that government should put an end to “the liberty of each to do as he will with his own.”33 “As [a] man is bent toward business or patriotism, he will negotiate combinations or agitate for laws to regulate them.


pages: 407 words: 136,138

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler

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always be closing, Bonfire of the Vanities, call centre, David Brooks, full employment, illegal immigration, late fees, low skilled workers, payday loans, profit motive, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, working poor

With moving under statement, he develops a compassionate picture of the working poor.” —The Star-Ledger (Newark) “A work of stunning scope and clarity.… He brings the reader close enough to the challenges faced every day by his workers to make them feel it when the floor inevitably drops out beneath them.” —The Buffalo News “The scope and importance of David Shipler’s The Working Poor brings to mind Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.” —Deseret News (Salt Lake City) “A powerful exposé that builds from page to page, from one grim revelation to another, until you have no choice but to leap out of your armchair and strike a blow for economic justice.” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed “There is no better book on poverty in America than The Working Poor because it describes in vivid detail the sort of day to day problems and the cycles that these folks are involved in … really thought-provoking in a very important way.”


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

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AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, intangible asset, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra, your tax dollars at work

He said no one takes projections seriously and if something negative affects the projection down the road, you can always point to something in the environment that nobody would have expected you to have known. Well, consequently, I stuck to my guns and refused to cut out of the Shooting the Moon 301 report the downside scenarios. I told them that I would supply the complete report and if they wanted to alter it, then that was up to them, not me. Upton Sinclair wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” When I first tried to get some traction on understanding these issues, I hoped that this would turn out to be an unforeseeable, unavoidable confluence of independent events. It wasn’t. If Apollo 11 had ended up a pile of wreckage in the Sea of Tranquility, we might attribute it to a random accident or a bad component.


pages: 621 words: 157,263

How to Change the World: Reflections on Marx and Marxism by Eric Hobsbawm

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anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, discovery of the americas, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, Simon Kuznets, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

Leavis, found themselves not only surrounded by anti-fascist and even some Marxist disciples, but hesitated on the brink of expressing cautious and qualified sympathy with their cause, before with-drawing from the political arena.21 275 How to Change the World In Britain, France and the USA those mobilised in favour of the Spanish Republic and more generally for anti-fascism comprised a majority of talent and intellect. The American writers who declared their support for the Spanish Republicans included Sherwood Anderson, Stephen Vincent Benét, Dos Passos, Dreiser, Faulkner, Hemingway, Archibald MacLeish, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck and Thornton Wilder, to name but a few. In the Hispanic world the poets supported the Republic almost without exception. Since the publicity value of such well-known names was obvious, and was exploited by various forms of collective gatherings, public statements and other manifestations, this part of the intellectuals’ anti-fascism is particularly well recorded. Indeed, some accounts of the subject are virtually confined to the discussion of the public, i.e. essentially the literary, intelligentsia. 22 The anti-fascism of persons of unusual talent, intelligence and established or future intellectual achievement, is historically significant, and so is their attraction in this period to Marxism, which was particularly marked among the generations which reached adult maturity in the 1930s and 1940s.


pages: 663 words: 119,916

The Big Book of Words You Should Know: Over 3,000 Words Every Person Should Be Able to Use (And a Few That You Probably Shouldn't) by David Olsen, Michelle Bevilacqua, Justin Cord Hayes

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deliberate practice, haute couture, haute cuisine, jitney, Lao Tzu, place-making, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Rosa Parks, Upton Sinclair

gamy (GAY-me), adjective Originally used to describe the tangy flavor and odor of wild game, the word gamy has branched out to have several meanings: lewd, spirited, and disgusting. It’s all in the context! After three hours of playing basketball, I feared my sweat-soaked gym clothes were more than a little GAMY. genre (ZHAWN-ruh), noun A particular style that characterizes a type of music, art, literature, film, etc. Though their GENRE doesn’t make for pleasant or easy reading, one has to admire muckrakers like Upton Sinclair, who aimed to bring about important social reforms with their novels. genteel (jen-TEEL), adjective Refined; conveying a sense of high style and/or respectability. Genteel is often meant to imply a sense of social superiority, as well. Tom’s vulgar remarks were not appreciated by his GENTEEL dining companions. gentrify (JENN-truh-fie), verb To take something rundown, such as a neighborhood, and improve it.


pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized markets, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, Satyajit Das, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Having passively surrendered to for-profit firms the critical decisions we need to make about reputation, search, and fi nance, 186 THE BLACK BOX SOCIETY we are gradually losing the ability even to know what these decisions have been, let alone how well they are working. The result is a world that even the most celebrated muckrakers of the past might find impossible to reform. Consider a topic as basic as food safety. Working undercover at a meatpacking plant in 1904, Upton Sinclair witnessed grotesque filth and exploitation. He rocked the industry with The Jungle, a novel about the plight of workers at the plant. As public outrage grew, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which set the stage for the food and drug regulations of today. If a would-be Sinclair tried to document today’s food horror stories, there’s a good chance he’d be fi ned, jailed, or even labeled a terrorist.


pages: 594 words: 165,413

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

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Ada Lovelace, cuban missile crisis, financial independence, impulse control, LNG terminal, trade route, Upton Sinclair

They had no children, their three attempts each ending in miscarriage, the last of which had nearly killed her. She was a pretty, delicate woman, sophisticated by Russian standards, who polished her husband's passable English with American and British books—politically approved ones to be sure, mainly the thoughts of Western leftists, but also a smattering of genuine literature, including Hemingway, Twain, and Upton Sinclair. Along with his naval career, Natalia had been the center of his life. Their marriage, punctuated by prolonged absences and joyous returns, made their love even more precious than it might have been. When construction began on the first class of Soviet nuclear-powered submarines, Marko found himself in the yards learning how the steel sharks were designed and built. He was soon known as a very hard man to please as a junior quality control inspector.

Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations With Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks

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Bernie Madoff, Columbine, hive mind, index card, iterative process, Norman Mailer, period drama, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Saturday Night Live, Upton Sinclair

The funny thing was, we never had his books in the house. My mother claims this is because my father confused Dr. Seuss with [pediatrician and child-care author] Dr. Spock, and considered Dr. Spock a communist. My father denies this. And honestly, it doesn’t sound like him—the guy who gave me Michael Harrington’s [1962 book on poverty] The Other America to read when I was in seventh grade, along with Upton Sinclair’s [1906 novel on Chicago working-class conditions] The Jungle. But who knows? Anyway, we didn’t have the Seuss books, but a neighbor did, and I remember whenever we would go over there I would sneak into the kid’s room and read all the contraband Seuss. I loved the simplicity. Very elemental and profound. Also completely weird. You can’t trace any predecessor or agenda in those books. Just sui generis.


pages: 514 words: 153,092

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

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anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, collective bargaining, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Frederick Winslow Taylor, invisible hand, jobless men, Mahatma Gandhi, Plutocrats, plutocrats, short selling, Upton Sinclair, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

Even as he tangled with the law, he bought houses and storefronts by the dozen, many of them beyond Harlem, in the country up the Hudson River. By 1937, he had twenty-five properties operating in New York’s Ulster County, mostly as farms. One, at Elting’s Corners, had burned in April of that year, but that was a small setback. He was making his economic community, something like the agricultural communities that Upton Sinclair had led in California. “Father is going to make Ulster County into a model community that will be an example for the United States government,” his spokesman, John Lamb, told the papers. The New York Times reported that some in the area, nearly entirely white, were not happy. “News that the county was going to be used as a lab for a negro collectivization experiment in camp meeting tempo was received with wrath by the Ulster County farmers and businessmen yesterday,” the paper wrote.


pages: 494 words: 116,739

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama

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active measures, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K

Yet we have no consensus view of the technologies’ net effect. Toward the end of my five years in India, I had a glimpse of a hypothesis. I knew there was a way to make sense of the apparent contradiction whereby isolated successes weren’t easy to replicate elsewhere. But since I worked at a company whose soul was software, I kept wanting to see the technology prevail. I felt disloyal doubting its value. As Upton Sinclair said, “it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”34 I needed some distance, and I needed some time. So in early 2010 I left Microsoft to join the School of Information at Berkeley. The dean, AnnaLee Saxenian, had arranged a research fellowship for me. At her school, people not only built technologies but also studied how they affected society.


pages: 454 words: 122,612

In-N-Out Burger by Stacy Perman

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anti-communist, British Empire, commoditize, corporate raider, El Camino Real, estate planning, forensic accounting, Haight Ashbury, Maui Hawaii, McJob, McMansion, new economy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

In the mid-1960s, McDonald’s traced the origins of the hamburger to a Russian sailor in the German port city of Hamburg and journeyed there to present the mayor of Hamburg with a McDonald’s hamburger. McDonald’s was not the first to deploy gimmickry, however. In 1930, White Castle founders Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson came up with a scheme to counter the public’s squeamishness about eating ground beef that endured long after the publication of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 meatpacking industry exposé, The Jungle. Ingram paid a group of young men to dress up as doctors while they ate White Castle hamburgers to promote the idea that hamburgers were healthy. Harry had little interest in such attention-grabbing tricks or publicity stunts. Esther’s modesty and her husband’s salt-of-the-earth soul recoiled from the kind of promotional splashes going all around them.


pages: 423 words: 118,002

The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American energy revolution, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate governance, corporate raider, energy security, energy transition, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), margin call, market fundamentalism, Mason jar, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Project Plowshare, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

And a right-wing oilman, Aubrey McClendon, would become an outspoken prophet for an abundant, low-carbon source of energy. Not long after Chesapeake inquired about leasing the Farm, my father spent a day driving around to visit neighbors and discovered that many had signed leases already. The reality sunk in. Future drilling locations surrounded the Farm. “We believed they would go under our property and get the gas anyway,” he told me later. It is an old fear. At the beginning of his classic novel Oil!, Upton Sinclair captured how the industry played on this worry. “Take it from me as an oilman,” the budding tycoon J. Arnold Ross tells a group of neighbors. “There ain’t a-goin’ to be many gushers here at Prospect Hill; the pressure under the ground will soon let up, and it’ll be them that get their wells down first that’ll get the oil.” This race to drill and drain free-flowing reservoirs was how it worked at the beginning of the twentieth century, but it is no longer the case.


pages: 420 words: 121,881

The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig

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Albert Einstein, experimental subject, feminist movement, Norman Mailer, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

Sanger’s pragmatism and elitism may have damaged her reputation as a crusader for the poor, but, as she expected, it broadened her base of support. By 1925, more than one thousand doctors from around the world sought admission to Sanger’s annual birth-control conference, this one held at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City. British economist John Maynard Keynes attended, as did writer Lytton Strachey and Socialist Party leader Norman Thomas. Messages of support arrived from W. E .B. Du Bois, Upton Sinclair, and Bertrand Russell. The most influential eugenicists in the country were on hand, too. The birth-control movement was gaining visibility in the United States and spreading quickly around the world. It helped that sex in America was more widely discussed than ever. The single woman of the Jazz Age smoked, drank, danced, flirted, and (to use the term that was beginning to come into vogue) screwed.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, endogenous growth, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income per capita, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Economic Geography, New Urbanism, Paul Samuelson, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, V2 rocket, very high income, working poor, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

The prosecution in the past century and a half has written out the indictment of the developing bourgeois and free and business-respecting civilization in many thousands of eloquent volumes, from the hands of Dickens (the critics of innovation were not all of the left), Carlyle (ditto), Alexander Herzen, Baudelaire, Marx, Engels, Mikhail Bukharin, Ruskin, William Morris, Nietzsche, Prince Kropotkin (my hero at age 14, when I fell in love with socialist anarchism down at the local Carnegie-built library), Tolstoy, Shaw, Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, Rosa Luxemburg, Emma Goldman (another admired figure, when I later developed my anarchist convictions), D. H. Lawrence, Lenin, Trotsky (companion of a brief flirtation with communism), John Reid (ditto), Veblen, Ortega y Gasset, Sinclair Lewis, T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Mussolini, Giovanni Gentile, Hitler, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, F. R. Leavis, Karl Polanyi, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Simone Weil, Dorothy Day, Woody Guthrie (whose singing made me for a while a Joan-Baez socialist: the leftish opponents of bourgeois dignity and liberty, alas, have all the best songs), Pete Seeger, (ditto), Lewis Mumford, Hannah Arendt, Herbert Marcuse, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, J.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

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Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

Once you’ve said you care about something, however, it would be rude of you to refuse their request—it’s inconsistent with your previous statement. Obtain a small Commitment, and you’ll make it far more likely that others will comply with your request. SHARE THIS CONCEPT: http://book.personalmba.com/commitment-consistency/ Incentive-Caused Bias It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. —UPTON SINCLAIR, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF THE JUNGLE If you’re working with a real estate agent or mortgage broker, they’re primarily interested in convincing you to buy a house. Accordingly, most agents won’t tell you it’s in your best interest to rent,3 even if it’s true. Incentive-Caused Bias explains why people with a vested interest in something will tend to guide you in the direction of their interest.


pages: 505 words: 142,118

A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp

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3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, buy low sell high, carried interest, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, compound rate of return, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Edward Thorp, Erdős number, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, George Santayana, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, High speed trading, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, Mason jar, merger arbitrage, Murray Gell-Mann, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Norbert Wiener, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, stem cell, survivorship bias, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the rule of 72, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, Works Progress Administration

High school had been the apex of their lives. Many had married one another and lived locally ever since, whereas for me high school was a launching pad for life’s great adventure. In the summer of 1948, following my junior year at Narbonne, I sat on the beach and read my way through a list of about sixty great novels, mostly from American literature, by authors such as Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck, Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There were foreign authors as well, such as Dostoyevski and Stendhal. Jack Chasson had given me the list and lent me the books from his personal library. I punctuated my hours of reading with body-surfing and with thoughts about who I was and where I was going. That summer, three years after the war ended, was especially difficult for me.


pages: 416 words: 129,308

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

The distributed, station-based mode of production, in which each worker performs one specialized task ad infinitum, is what made complex machines like the automobile affordable and what makes the iPhone relatively affordable today. (It’s also what gives Apple such large profit margins.) But while we hold Ford and his mechanical assembly line up as a heroic example of American industriousness, it had roots in something much more organic—the slaughterhouse. The same Chicago slaughterhouses that incited national outrage after the publication of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in 1906 were crucial to founding the operational system that produces the iPhone. Around that time, Ford’s chief engineer, William “Pa” Klann, toured the Swift and Company slaughterhouse in Chicago. There, he saw what Ford would later refer to as “disassembly” lines, in which a butcher lopped the same cut of meat off each carcass that was passed down to him. “If they can kill pigs and cows that way, we can build cars and build motors that way,” Klann said.


pages: 467 words: 503

The omnivore's dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan

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additive manufacturing, back-to-the-land, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, double entry bookkeeping, Gary Taubes, Haber-Bosch Process, index card, informal economy, invention of agriculture, means of production, new economy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Whole Earth Catalog

No one needed to spell it out, but the Porter/Nation theory also helped explain Bev's current predicament. He had built an artisanal meat plant, designed to custom-process pastured livestock humanely and scrupulously, no more than a few dozen animals a day But his artisanal enterprise was being forced to conform to a USDA regulatory system that is based on an industrial model—indeed, that was created in response to the industrial abuses Upton Sinclair chronicled in The Jungle. The federal regulatory regime is expressly designed for a large slaughterhouse operated by unskilled and indifferent workers killing and cutting as many as four hundred feedlot animals an hour. The volume of such an operation can easily cover the costs of things like a dedicated restroom for the inspector, or elaborate machinery to steam clean (or irradiate) carcasses presumed to carry E. coli.


pages: 936 words: 252,313

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease by Gary Taubes

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Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, collaborative editing, Drosophila, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, invention of agriculture, John Snow's cholera map, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, selection bias, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, Upton Sinclair

The USDA noted further decreases in meat consumption between 1915 and 1924—the years immediately preceding the agency’s first attempts to record food disappearance data—because of food rationing and the “nationwide propaganda” during World War I to conserve meat for “military purposes.” Another possible explanation for the appearance of a low-meat diet early in the twentieth century was the publication in 1906 of Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle, his fictional exposé on the meatpacking industry. Sinclair graphically portrayed the Chicago abattoirs as places where rotted meat was chemically treated and repackaged as sausage, where tubercular employees occasionally slipped on the bloody floors, fell into the vats, and were “overlooked for days, till all but the bones of them had gone out to the world as Anderson’s Pure Leaf Lard!”


pages: 686 words: 201,972

Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately

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barriers to entry, British Empire, California gold rush, corporate raider, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, megacity, music of the spheres, Norman Mailer, Peace of Westphalia, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, working poor

They were patronized not only by the wealthy and dissipated but also by Broad-way stars and by New York’s intelligentsia, who were dubbed “gintellectuals” by the pioneer of American celebrity journalism, Walter Winchell. Speakeasies were staple fodder for the New York press, which reported who had been spotted where in its gossip columns, and noted the police raids on various joints in its crime pages. Collectively, they formed a never-ending carnival, which people might either join in or look on as observers through the eyes of their favorite columnists. Upton Sinclair, novelist, dry, and activist, suggested that they had dragged Bacchanalia into the twentieth century and that “Wine, Women, and Song” had been “modernized” into “gin, janes, and jazz.” Unlike the saloons they replaced, speakeasies were patronized by both sexes. American women had expanded their domain beyond the home during the war. They had become wage earners in their own right and, courtesy of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, had gained the right to vote.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

We now know definitively that the Graham Otto version of the genetics of aging is not correct. Exactly the view which The Postmortal contradicts turns out to be correct. Yet belief in magic bullets for aging persists, even among otherwise respectable biologists and technologists. Leaving aside historical precedent, I think that there is a simple law of human nature which explains their difficulty with the evolutionary genetic view, which is best credited as Upton Sinclair’s saying: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” As the cell and molecular biologists who work on aging are not good at doing evolutionary biology, it is not likely that they are going to accept that ­evolutionary biologists (1) have solved the scientific problem of aging, (2) can easily manipulate aging using experimental evolution, and (3) have far greater understanding of the technological constraints on transforming aging than any cell biologist.


pages: 726 words: 172,988

The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong With Banking and What to Do About It by Anat Admati, Martin Hellwig

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Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bonus culture, break the buck, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, George Akerlof, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, Larry Wall, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Martin Wolf, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, regulatory arbitrage, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

The shareholders truly lose if the banker’s fear of losing face by making that acknowledgement makes him forego some profitable opportunities.26 When bankers make investment and funding decisions and when they lobby against higher capital requirements, on whose behalf are they acting? Not surprisingly, as we discuss in the next chapter, first and foremost bankers act on their own behalf. EIGHT Paid to Gamble It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it! Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935) WHEN ARGUING AGAINST higher capital requirements, bankers and others routinely claim that having more capital would “lower returns on equity” (ROE).1 These lower returns, they claim, would harm their shareholders and could “make investment into the banking sector unattractive relative to other business sectors.”2 Arguments against higher capital requirements that are based on such reasoning are fundamentally flawed.


pages: 743 words: 189,512

The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz

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Albert Einstein, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Gary Taubes, Indoor air pollution, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, selection bias, the scientific method, Upton Sinclair

Michaels therefore finds it “particularly unlikely” that angina pectoris, with its severe, terrifying pain continuing episodically for many years, could have gone unnoticed by the medical community, “if indeed it had been anything but exceedingly rare before the mid-eighteenth century.”XII So it seems fair to say that at the height of the meat-and-butter-gorging eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, heart disease did not rage as it did by the 1930s.XIII Ironically—or perhaps tellingly—the heart disease “epidemic” began after a period of exceptionally reduced meat eating. The publication of The Jungle, Upton Sinclair’s fictionalized exposé of the meatpacking industry, caused meat sales in the United States to fall by half in 1906, and they did not revive for another twenty years. In other words, meat eating went down just before coronary disease took off. Fat intake did rise during those years, from 1909 to 1961, when heart attacks surged, but this 12 percent increase in fat consumption was not due to a rise in animal fat.


Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business process, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, Chance favours the prepared mind, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, survivorship bias, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

The Adaptive Markets Hypothesis tells us that, at the most basic level of the financial crisis, greed overwhelmed fear. Ignoring the changing environment, people at all levels of the system created narratives to convince themselves that greed was good. The pushback against the warnings about the oncoming crisis was stronger than the warnings themselves—until it was too late. The author and political activist Upton Sinclair once remarked, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” But how much more difficult it is to convince skeptics when they make their money directly from the market. The collective rush to the market’s nucleus accumbens overwhelmed the fear response generated by its amygdala, and induced its left hemispheres to come up with a justification.


USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Also on this block is the former site of the Folklore Center , where Izzy Young established a hangout for folk artists including Dylan, who found his first audience at the music venue Cafe Wha? . Double back along MacDougal to the current Research Fellows & Scholars Office of the NYU School of Law, the former site of the Liberal Club , a meeting place for free thinkers, including Jack London and Upton Sinclair, founded in 1913. Beyond here is the southwest entrance to Washington Square Park , which has a long history as a magnet for radicals. Wrap up the tour by leaving the park at the iconic arch and head up Fifth Ave. MEATPACKING DISTRICT Nestled between the far West Village and the southern border of Chelsea is the gentrified and now inappropriately named Meatpacking District. The neighborhood was once home to 250 slaughterhouses – today only eight butchers remain – and was best known for its groups of tranny hookers, racy S&M sex clubs and, of course, its sides of beef.

Ferguson, the US Supreme Court rules that ‘separate but equal’ public facilities for blacks and whites are legal, arguing that the Constitution addresses only political, not social, equality. 1898 Victory in the Spanish-American War gives US control of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam, and indirect control of Cuba. But Philippine’s bloody war for independence deters future US colonialism. 1906 Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, an exposé of Chicago’s unsavory meatpacking industry. Many workers suffer through poverty and dangerous, even deadly, conditions in choking factories and sweatshops. 1908 The first Model T (aka ‘Tin Lizzie’) car is built in Detroit, MI; assembly-line innovator Henry Ford is soon selling one million automobiles annually. 1914 Panama Canal opens, linking Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

For many decades, critics sneered that TV was lowbrow, and movie stars wouldn’t be caught dead on it. But well-written, thought-provoking shows have existed almost since the beginning. In the 1950s, the original I Love Lucy show was groundbreaking: shot on film before a live audience and edited before airing, it pioneered syndication. It established the sitcom (‘situation comedy’) formula, and showcased a dynamic female comedian, Lucille Ball, in an interethnic marriage. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906) shocked the public with its harrowing exposé of Chicago’s meatpacking industry, and instantly became a modern classic. Nearly a century later, Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation (2001) similarly alerted America to the dark underside of the fast food industry. In its brief history, TV has proved to be one of the most passionately contested cultural battlegrounds in American society, blamed for a whole host of societal ills, from skyrocketing obesity to plummeting attention spans and school test scores.


pages: 768 words: 291,079

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Berlin Wall, British Empire, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, full employment, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, means of production, Murano, Venice glass, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, wage slave, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce

First Russian Revolution. Russia defeated by Japan. Noonan becomes a founder member of the Hastings branch of the Social Democratic Federation and begins work on The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Marches of the unemployed in Hastings. Twenty-nine Labour MPs elected at general elec- tion won by the Liberals. Royal Commission on Vivisection meets. Provision of School Meals Act. Dreadnought launched. Upton Sinclair, The Jungle. Noonan leaves Burton & Co. after an argument with his employer; works for Adams and Jarrett. Shooting of protesters during industrial action in Belfast. Economic depression in Britain severe. Royal Commission on Coast Erosion and Afforestation meets. London, The Iron Heel. Tory MP again elected in Hastings by-election. SDF becomes the Social Democratic Party (SDP); Hyndman visits Hastings branch.


pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, yellow journalism, zero-coupon bond

Larsen and Barbara J. Cottrell, The Gate City: A History of Omaha. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 1997; Harry B. Otis, with Donald H. Erickson, E. Pluribus Omaha: Immigrants All. Omaha: Lamplighter Press (Douglas County Historical Society), 2000. Horowitz, commenting specifically on Omaha, points out that slaughterhouses in 1930 were still organized much the same way as portrayed in Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle. 7. In 2005, the GAO cited “respiratory irritation or even asphyxiation from exposure to chemicals, pathogens, and gases” as a current occupational risk for industry workers in GAO 05-95 Health and Safety of Meat and Poultry Workers. See also Nebraska Meatpacking Industry Workers Bill of Rights (2000), a “voluntary instrument” whose “reach has been modest,” according to Joe Santos of the state labor department, as cited by Human Rights Watch in its report Blood, Sweat and Fear: Workers’ Rights in the U.S.


Eastern USA by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, jitney, license plate recognition, Mason jar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, the High Line, the payments system, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Also on this block is the former site of the Folklore Center, where Izzy Young established a hangout for folk artists including Dylan, who found his first audience at the music venue Cafe Wha?. Double back along MacDougal to the current Research Fellows & Scholars Office of the NYU School of Law, the former site of the Liberal Club, a meeting place for free thinkers, including Jack London and Upton Sinclair, founded in 1913. Beyond here is the southwest entrance to Washington Square Park, which has a long history as a magnet for radicals. Wrap up the tour by leaving the park at the iconic arch and head up Fifth Ave. MEATPACKING DISTRICT Nestled between the far West Village and the southern border of Chelsea is the gentrified and now inappropriately named Meatpacking District. The neighborhood was once home to 250 slaughterhouses – today only eight butchers remain – and was best known for its groups of tranny hookers, racy S&M sex clubs and, of course, its sides of beef.