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

air freight, Corn Laws, food miles, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, 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

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, longitudinal study, 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, Sam Peltzman, 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

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, 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, desegregation, 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, market bubble, 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, short selling, 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. SIX Phood, Pharma, and Phishing In 1906 the upstart novelist Upton Sinclair intruded on the public’s peace of mind. He wrote a novel, The Jungle, based on the meatpacking 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.

Jason Linkins, “Wall Street Cash Rules Everything around the House Financial Services Committee, Apparently,” Huffington Post, July 22, 2013, accessed May 22, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/wall-street-lobbyists_n_3635759.html. 47. US Internal Revenue Service, “Tax Gap for Tax Year 2006: Overview,” Table 1, Net Tax Gap for Tax-Year 2006. January 6, 2012, accessed November 18, 2014, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/06rastg12overvw.pdf. Chapter Six: Phood, Pharma, and Phishing 1. Anthony Arthur, Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair (New York: Random House, 2006), Kindle locations 883–86 out of 7719; also 912–16. 2. When Sinclair was threatened with a lawsuit by J. Ogden Armour, of the meatpacking firm, he replied with a letter to the New York Times. Sinclair wrote that he had seen: The selling for human food of the carcasses of cattle and swine which have been condemned for tuberculosis, actinomycosis, and gangrene; the converting of such carcasses into sausage and lard; the preserving of spoiled hams with boric and salicylic acid; the coloring of canned and potted meats with aniline dyes; the embalming and adulterating of sausages—all of these things mean the dealing out to hundreds and thousands of men, women, and children of a sudden, horrible and agonizing death.


pages: 422 words: 89,770

Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges

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: 478 words: 126,416

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

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, buy and hold, 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, disruptive innovation, 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 airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, NetJets, 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, 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: 243 words: 65,374

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

A. Roger Ekirch, Ada Lovelace, big-box store, British Empire, butterfly effect, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jacquard loom, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Live Aid, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Murano, Venice glass, planetary scale, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, walkable city, women in the workforce

The success of that global trade transformed the natural landscape of the American plains in ways that are still visible today: the vast, shimmering grasslands replaced by industrial feedlots, creating, in Miller’s words, “a city-country [food] system that was the most powerful environmental force in transforming the American landscape since the Ice Age glaciers began their final retreat.” The Chicago stockyards that emerged in the last two decades of the nineteenth century were, as Upton Sinclair wrote, “the greatest aggregation of labor and capital ever gathered in one place.” Fourteen million animals were slaughtered in an average year. In many ways, the industrial food complex held in such disdain by modern-day “slow food” advocates begins with the Chicago stockyards and the web of ice-cooled transport that extended out from those grim feedlots and slaughterhouses. Progressives like Upton Sinclair painted Chicago as a kind of Dante’s Inferno of industrialization, but in reality, most of the technology employed in the stockyards would have been recognizable to a medieval butcher. The most advanced form of technology in the whole chain was the refrigerated railcar.

By the early 1870s, the city’s water supply was so appalling that a sink or tub would regularly be filled with dead fish, poisoned by the human filth and then hoovered up into the city’s water pipes. In summer months, according to one observer, the fish “came out cooked and one’s bathtub was apt to be filled with what squeamish citizens called chowder.” Workmen make progress on the Metropolitan Line underground railway works at King’s Cross, London. Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle is generally considered to be the most influential literary work in the muckraking tradition of political activism. Part of the power of the book came from its literal muckraking, describing the filth of turn-of-the-century Chicago in excruciating detail, as in this description of the wonderfully named Bubbly Creek, an offshoot of the Chicago River: The grease and chemicals that are poured into it undergo all sorts of strange transformations, which are the cause of its name; it is constantly in motion, as if huge fish were feeding in it, or great leviathans disporting themselves in its depths.


pages: 736 words: 147,021

Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety by Marion Nestle

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.


Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang, Nate Pedersen

Albert Einstein, complexity theory, germ theory of disease, helicopter parent, Honoré de Balzac, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Louis Pasteur, placebo effect, stem cell, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, wikimedia commons, Y2K

We could devote an entire book to cataloging charlatans like Brooks. And therein lies what makes this particular brand of quackery so dangerous: The problem with fasting, as opposed to say, neurosurgery, is that anyone can do it. Plenty of unqualified nonmedical professionals offer their opinions and advice. Even respectable writers get in on the game. One of fasting’s more enthusiastic adherents was none other than Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle and famously gullible patient, who threw his full weight behind a variety of twentieth-century quack cures (see also Radionics, page 303). Sinclair’s 1911 book, The Fasting Cure, detailed his personal experiments in not eating. Not content with merely describing his own experiences, Sinclair also offered general advice to the hundreds of people who wrote to him seeking his medical opinion—as a journalist—on whether fasting would help cure them.

Soon, the patient is happily free of cancer, a disease he never had in the first place. The patient can then spread the word among his friends. “I was so close to dying, you wouldn’t believe it. But, thankfully, I heard about this new cure called radionics. They hooked me up to a machine, and poof, my cancer was gone!” That’s powerful stuff and quickly builds a word-of-mouth marketing campaign. The cult of radionics catapulted into the national spotlight when Upton Sinclair became a believer. Sinclair, author of the classic novel exposé of the meatpacking industry The Jungle, was a household name when he lent his credibility to radionics by writing an article entitled “The House of Wonders” for Pearson’s Magazine in June 1922. In the article, Sinclair praises and promotes Abrams and his methods: I decided to go to San Francisco and investigate. I planned to spend a day or two, but what I found there held me a couple of weeks, and it might have been months or even years, if urgent duties had not called me home. . . .

Maybe someday there will even be a Boy Scouts badge in “radionics.” Conventional medicine, meanwhile, obviously uses radio waves for communicating with dispatchers and paramedics. But many don’t realize that radio frequency–driven heat energy is used to ablate or burn away problematic tissues. It can cure some types of heart arrhythmias, tumors, and varicose veins. Perhaps somewhere, poor Upton Sinclair is feeling a little vindicated for his enthusiasm over the radio wave craze. 28 The King’s Touch Of Scrofula, Macbeth, Kingly Touching Ceremonies, a Miracle Horse, Medicinal Coins, and the Decayed Arm of Saint Louis The medieval era was an ugly time to be alive. Without the benefit of modern medicine, all sorts of gruesome and disfiguring diseases rampaged their way through the European populace.


pages: 418 words: 128,965

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

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, 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

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, Kickstarter, land reform, microcredit, Negawatt, Nelson Mandela, 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: 353 words: 91,211

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

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

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.


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The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 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 cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, 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, 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, uber lyft, 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?


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

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, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, starchitect, 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

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, business cycle, 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.


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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, Kickstarter, 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, 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.


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Why America Must Not Follow Europe by Daniel Hannan

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.


The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, carbon footprint, Donald Trump, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning

Charlotte Brontë’s view, expressed in a letter to a critic, is worth noting: ‘is not the real experience of each individual very limited?’ she asks, ‘and if a writer dwells upon that solely or principally is he not in danger of being an egotist?’ In a perceptive discussion of Updike’s review, the critic Rob Nixon points out that Munif is ‘scarcely alone in working with a crowded canvas and with themes of collective transformation’; Émile Zola, Upton Sinclair, and many others have also treated ‘individual character as secondary to collective metamorphosis’. Indeed, so numerous are the traces of the collective within the novelistic tradition that anyone who chose to look for them would soon be overwhelmed. Such being the case, should Updike’s view be summarily dismissed? My answer is: no—because Updike was, in a certain sense, right. It is a fact that the contemporary novel has become ever more radically centred on the individual psyche while the collective—‘men in the aggregate’—has receded, both in the cultural and the fictional imagination.

Kenneth Pomeranz, ‘The Great Himalayan Watershed: Water Shortages, Mega-Projects, and Environmental Politics in China, India, and Southeast Asia’, 19 (published in French as ‘Les eaux de l’Himalaya: Barrages géants et risques environnementaux en Asia contemporaine’, in Revue d’histoire modern et contemporaine 62, no. 1 [January–March 2015]: 6–47); for Mao’s ‘War against Nature’, see Judith Shapiro, Mao’s War against Nature: Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 161 ‘world [they] depict’: Franco Moretti, The Bourgeois, 89. 162 ‘the official order’: Arran E. Gare, Postmodernism and the Environmental Crisis (London: Routledge, 1995), 16. 162 perspective of the Anthropocene: As Stephanie LeMenager points out, even Upton Sinclair, a committed socialist and ‘one of the most ideologically driven American novelists’, ends up romanticizing the gasoline-powered culture of cars. See Stephanie LeMenager, Living Oil, 69. 162 ‘becomes a commodity’: Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, 3rd ed. (New York: Zone Books, 1994), 59. 165 ‘with us always’: Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years, 25. 165 predecessor obsolete: Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern, loc. 1412. 165 ‘wrong side of history’: http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2014/04/17/the_phrase_the_wrong_side_of_history_around_for_more_than_a_century_is_getting.html. 168 vulnerable to climate change: Cf.


pages: 398 words: 105,917

Bean Counters: The Triumph of the Accountants and How They Broke Capitalism by Richard Brooks

accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, blockchain, BRICs, British Empire, business process, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Strachan, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, energy security, Etonian, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, forensic accounting, Frederick Winslow Taylor, G4S, intangible asset, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, low cost airline, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, supply-chain management, The Chicago School, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks

The part played by the change of the major investment, or merchant, banks from partnerships to companies is explained more in Kay, Other People’s Money. 22. Evidence of Lord Stevenson to Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, 4 December 2012. 23. Figures from Ian Fraser, ‘KPMG and the HBOS Whistleblower’, Sunday Herald, 18 December 2011. 24. Galbraith, The Great Crash. 25. From Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And how I got Licked, Upton Sinclair, 1934. 26. Robert Half, CEO tracker survey, April 2016, https://www.roberthalf.co.uk/news-insights/reports-guides/cfo-insights/robert-half-ftse-100-ceo-tracker; accessed 5 March 2017. 27. Stuart Pfeifer, ‘Former KPMG Partner Sentenced for Insider Trading’, Los Angeles Times, 24 April 2014. 28. Gill, Accountants’ Truth. 29. Only PwC and Deloitte reported figures globally.

(In this, he thought, ‘at least equally with communism, lies the threat to capitalism’.) Galbraith could have been prophesying accountancy a few decades later, now led by men of business rather than watchdogs of business.24 Another American writer of the same time caught the likely cause of the bean counters’ blindness to looming danger even more starkly. ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something’, wrote Upton Sinclair, ‘when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.’25 Given that they were lucratively advising on the financial concoctions that would detonate the crisis, it certainly wouldn’t have paid the early-twenty-first-century bean counters to understand the destructive power within them. MEN, AND A FEW WOMEN, OF THE WORLD The Big Four’s bean counters are drawn from a pool of high educational achievers, dozens of graduates applying for each ‘fast-stream’ job that might eventually lead to partner status.


pages: 213 words: 61,911

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

back-to-the-land, cognitive dissonance, Community Supported Agriculture, Gary Taubes, global pandemic, 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: 772 words: 203,182

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 cycle, business process, buy and hold, 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, disruptive innovation, 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, 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, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, 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: 329 words: 85,471

The Locavore's Dilemma by Pierre Desrochers, Hiroko Shimizu

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, 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: 287 words: 80,050

The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less by Emrys Westacott

Airbnb, back-to-the-land, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Diane Coyle, discovery of DNA, Downton Abbey, dumpster diving, financial independence, full employment, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, McMansion, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, negative equity, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, the market place, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, Zipcar

I am certain that all who agreed to work as temporary unpaid servants were acutely conscious of the fact that their career prospects depended heavily on the sort of reference this professor would be giving them. People who are dependent on the favor of others will almost inevitably be anxious about how they are viewed by their patrons. This anxiety is unpleasant in itself and constrains what they feel comfortable doing or saying. Ultimately it is likely to affect—one might well say infect—their thinking. As Upton Sinclair famously observed, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”52 Thus when Epicurus says that “the greatest fruit of self-sufficiency is freedom,” he primarily has in mind freedom from any such inhibitions or anxieties, a condition he views as both conducive to moral integrity and necessary for peace of mind. Moral approval of self-sufficiency persists today, but in modified forms.

For research supporting the general idea that becoming accustomed to something as the norm interferes with our ability to derive enjoyment from lesser versions of that sort of thing, see Christopher Hsee, Reid Hastie, and Jinquin Chen, “Hedonomics: Bridging Decision Research with Happiness Research,” Perspectives on Psychological Science 3, no. 3 (2008): 224–43. 47. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The American Scholar,” in Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. Stephen E. Whicher (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957), p. 78. 48. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, III, p. 28. 49. Ibid., p. 27. 50. Seneca, “Consolation of Helva,” in The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca, p. 117. 51. Epicurus, “Fragments,” in The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers, p. 51. 52. Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). 53. See Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper & Row, 1990). 54. The term “frugal zealot” is taken from Dacyczyn, author of The Complete Tightwad Gazette. 55. International Naturist Federation website: http://www.inf-fni.org/. 56. Epicurus, The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers, p. 42. 57.


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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Admiral Zheng, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, buy and hold, 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, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Northern Rock, passive investing, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, post-work, 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

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.


pages: 801 words: 209,348

Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American ideology, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, oil rush, peer-to-peer, pets.com, popular electronics, profit motive, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

“twenty-five years ago”: Armour, “Packing Industry,” 338. “Here was the chute”: Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906; repr., Ann Arbor, MI: Borders Classics, 2006), 37. “organic matter was wasted”: Ibid., 44. “eat his dinner”: Ibid., 89. “did not shiver”: Ibid., 90. “Scraps of meat”: Ibid., 67. “grade of lard”: Ibid., 107. “fat of pork”: Ibid., 108. “this ingenious mixture”: Ibid., 109. did not mention: “Jurdis Rudkus and ‘The Jungle,’” New York Times, March 3, 1906. “man with the muckrake”: Theodore Roosevelt, “Fifth Annual Message,” December 1905, American Presidency Project, University of California, Santa Barbara. “misbranded and adulterated”: Ibid. “I would suggest”: Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt, March 10, 1906, National Archives, Identifier: 301981, Record Group 16.

The turn of the century saw an unrelenting wave from Italy; Eastern Europe, including Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary; and Russia and its bordering countries, such as Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine. Unlike the Irish, this wave didn’t speak English. Unlike the Germans, they had little education and money to start life with. American society faced the immediate challenge of absorbing this endless influx. Never had so many different languages been sizably introduced into the country at the same time. Upton Sinclair’s novel told the story of a broad-shouldered, bull-like Lithuanian immigrant named Jurgis Rudkus. Fueled by optimism and lured by tales of endless wealth, Jurgis and members of his family land in New York and make their way to Chicago. The family begins life in America in a tenement community called Packingtown. Beyond rows and rows of shacks and boardinghouses, set amid open sewers and fetid ditches with odors “of all the dead things of the universe,” stood the smokestacks, stockyards, and rail tracks belonging to the meatpacking industry.

The widespread adoption of the automobile was industrialization’s valedictory moment, a triumphant equalizer that converged the workingman and the consumer, making them one and the same, and turning him into a full participant in the dividend of American capitalism. He was only an industrial input, a wage laborer, a cog in the machine—more so than ever, perhaps—but equally, he was a beneficiary of the system’s efficiency in that his purchasing power, unmatched anywhere else in the world, allowed him ownership of a car, the product of his own output in the Marxian sense. This egalitarianism, a counterargument to the Upton Sinclairs of the world, cemented capitalism as the American way, its defenders to be found across economic strata. Twenty-two RADIO By 1912 Philadelphia’s Wanamaker’s department store was well settled with its New York outpost after taking over the operations of A. T. Stewart, the pioneer of the American department store. Looking to gain every promotional advantage in the highly competitive New York market, Wanamaker added a floor exhibit that aroused the curiosity of shoppers and satisfied the practical needs of the store’s operations at the same time.


pages: 339 words: 94,769

Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI by John Brockman

AI winter, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, David Graeber, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, finite state, friendly AI, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Laplace demon, Loebner Prize, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Picturephone, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telemarketer, telerobotics, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, zero-sum game

We’re thus on the slippery slope toward AGI, with strong incentives to keep sliding downward, even though the consequence will by definition be our economic obsolescence. We will no longer be needed for anything, because all jobs can be done more efficiently by machines. The successful creation of AGI would be the biggest event in human history, so why is there so little serious discussion of what it might lead to? Here again, the answer involves multiple reasons. First, as Upton Sinclair famously quipped, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”* For example, spokesmen for tech companies or university research groups often claim there are no risks attached to their activities even if they privately think otherwise. Sinclair’s observation may help explain not only reactions to risks from smoking and climate change but also why some treat technology as a new religion whose central articles of faith are that more technology is always better and whose heretics are clueless scaremongering Luddites.

Von Neumann is listed as the only author, whereas others contributed to the concepts he laid out; thus credit for the architecture has gone to him alone. * Science 177, no. 4047 (August 4, 1972): 393–96. * Vincent C. Müller and Nick Bostrom, “Future Progress in Artificial Intelligence: A Survey of Expert Opinion,” in Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence, ed. Vincent C. Müller (Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2016), 555–72, https://nickbostrom.com/papers/survey.pdf. * Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 109. * https://futureoflife.org/ai-principles. * See, for example, Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Penguin Classics, 2006). * See Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (New York: Henry Holt, 2014)


pages: 423 words: 92,798

No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age by Jane F. McAlevey

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, feminist movement, hiring and firing, immigration reform, informal economy, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, precariat, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, The Chicago School, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, women in the workforce

The UFCW was founded in 1979 through several mergers of four older unions, including the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, chartered by the American Federation of Labor in 1897, which in 1937 was reformulated by the Congress of Industrial Organizations, (CIO), into a new union, the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee (PWOC).8 The PWOC, a union heavily influenced by Communists and socialists in its heyday,9 was the union that Saul Alinsky partnered with in Chicago in his first community organizing effort, the Back of the Yards Council.10 Upton Sinclair described the conditions in the Chicago meat-packing plants in his 1906 novel The Jungle.11 The UFCW had other Smithfield Foods plants in several Midwestern states that had long been under union contract. But the union presence in these Midwestern plants was not the result of contemporary organizing by the UFCW, but rather of Smithfield Foods’ aggressive acquisition during the 1980s of smaller companies like John Morrell and Farmland, plants and companies that had been unionized by the PWOC in its more radical days, in the decades prior to the election of Ronald Reagan and Reagan’s campaign to deunionize America.

The other three unions that merged with the PWOC to form the modern union were the Barbers, Beauticians and Allied Industries International Association; Boot and Shoe Workers Union; and the Retail Clerks International Union. 9.Judith Stepan-Norris and Maurice Zeitlin, Left Out: Reds and America’s Industrial Unions, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 10.Saul Alinsky, “Community Analysis and Organization,” American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 46, No. 6 (May 1941), 797–808. 11.Upton Sinclair, The Jungle: The Uncensored Version, Amherst, Mass.: Seven Treasures Publications, 2011. 12.The National Labor Relations Board, “Decision and Order, The Smithfield Packing Company, Inc., Tar Heel Division, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 204, AFL-CIO, CLC, December 16, 2004.” In author’s possession. 13.Roz Pellas, author interview, May 2014. 14.Vote tallies from “Key Dates in Fight to Unionize Smithfield Plant,” Associated Press Financial Wire, December 5, 2008, via LEXIS. 15.Author Interview, April 2013. 16.This aspect, Smithfield actually encouraging illegal migration over the border, is covered extensively in David Bacon’s The Right to Stay Home: How U.S.


pages: 336 words: 92,056

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

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, 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, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport, 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: 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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, 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 sewing machine, 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, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, 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: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

Another, Amancio Ortega, who built the retailer Zara, was famous for applying advanced technology to manufacturing and for automating his factories. The final member of the gang of eight, Warren Buffett, was a major shareholder in Apple and IBM. CHAPTER 4 THE CRITIC AND THE THOUGHT LEADER It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it. —UPTON SINCLAIR In October 2011, in the sleepy village of Camden, Maine, Amy Cuddy prepared to give her first proper talk outside academia. Cuddy was a social psychologist at Harvard Business School who had spent more than a decade publishing papers on the workings of prejudice, discrimination, and systems of power. She had written of how the sexism that women face is a strange amalgam of the envy men feel toward career women and the pity they feel for women who don’t work.

And subsidies have consequences, as the Harvard Business School professor Gautam Mukunda observes in a piece about how Wall Street clings to power, including by cultivating ideas that make us believe “that those with power are good and just and doing the right thing”: The ability of a powerful group to reward those who agree with it and punish those who don’t also distorts the marketplace of ideas. This isn’t about corruption—beliefs naturally shift in accord with interests. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.” The result can be an entire society twisted to serve the interests of its most powerful group. The idea that thought leaders are unaffected by their patrons is also contradicted by their very own speakers bureau websites, which illustrate how the peddlers of potentially menacing ideas are rendered less scary to gatherings of the rich and powerful.


Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World by Bethany McLean

addicted to oil, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, buy and hold, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, family office, hydraulic fracturing, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Upton Sinclair, Yom Kippur War

“Aubrey McClendon did everything the other guys are doing, just on steroids,” says Chanos. “The industry has a very bad history of money going into it and never coming out.” It wasn’t until later that the industrywide skepticism burst into the open. No one would ever mistake David Einhorn for Daniel Plainview, the silver miner-turned-oilman played by Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood, the movie inspired by Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil! Tall and slightly framed, the baby-faced Einhorn spoke with a high, nasal-inflected voice from behind a podium at the 2015 Ira W. Sohn Investment Research Conference, known as the Super Bowl of the hedge fund industry. At the Sohn conference in May 2008, he’d made a now-famous proclamation that the investment bank Lehman Brothers was in far worse shape than it was letting on. When Lehman went under, Einhorn’s firm, Greenlight Capital, made a fortune from its giant short position in the company.


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

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: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega

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, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, 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

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, bank run, banking crisis, business cycle, Corn Laws, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, invisible hand, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Sam Peltzman, 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."


pages: 913 words: 299,770

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

active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American ideology, 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: 165 words: 47,405

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

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, Nelson Mandela, 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.


A Paradise Built in Hell: Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster by Rebecca Solnit

Berlin Wall, Burning Man, centre right, Community Supported Agriculture, David Graeber, different worldview, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, Loma Prieta earthquake, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, South of Market, San Francisco, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, War on Poverty, yellow journalism

The biggest headlines were for the sixteen-year-old boy who had been kidnapped by a ship’s crew, part of the semislave labor of the seas that persisted into the twentieth century. A race war seemed near in Missouri after a grand jury investigated a white mob of lynchers. Two thousand Japanese immigrants were denounced for violating labor law to work in the Alaska canneries. Other stories from around the nation in the weeks after the earthquake were about union power, about the reformist impact of Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle, exposing the foul Chicago meatpacking industry, and the case for breaking up Standard Oil’s monopoly. The society was made of schisms at that moment. It’s this pervasive atmosphere of conflict that made Jacobson’s “millennial good fellowship” so remarkable. GENERAL FUNSTON’S FEAR Shoot to Kill Brigadier General Frederick Funston, the commanding officer at the Presidio military base on San Francisco’s northern edge, perceived his job as saving the city from the people, rather than saving the people from the material city of cracked and crumbling buildings, fallen power lines, and towering flames.

Among us English-speaking peoples especially do the praises of poverty need once more to be boldly sung. . . . We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient realization of poverty could have meant; the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by who we are and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment.” Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle made the invisible lives of the poor living nearby in Chicago real to her, and this “made me feel that from then on my life was to be linked to theirs, their interests were to be mine; I had received a call, a vocation, a direction to my life.” She used the language of religion intentionally. All her life before her conversion to Catholicism just before she turned thirty, she longed for prayer, for the shelter of the church and the larger meanings religion provided, for something grander and more mystical than everyday life or revolutionary politics could offer.


pages: 356 words: 51,419

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns by John C. Bogle

asset allocation, backtesting, buy and hold, creative destruction, diversification, diversified portfolio, financial intermediation, fixed income, index fund, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, new economy, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Sharpe ratio, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, William of Occam, yield management, zero-sum game

It’s amazing how difficult it is for a man to understand something if he’s paid a small fortune not to understand it. What’s more, it is hardly in the interest of our financial intermediaries to encourage their investor/clients to recognize the obvious reality. Indeed, the self-interest of the leaders of our financial system almost compels them to ignore these relentless rules. Paraphrasing Upton Sinclair: It’s amazing how difficult it is for a man to understand something if he’s paid a small fortune not to understand it. Our system of financial intermediation has created enormous fortunes for those who manage other people’s money. Their self-interest will not soon change. But as an investor, you must look after your self-interest. Only by facing the obvious realities of investing can an intelligent investor succeed.


pages: 172 words: 48,747

The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches From the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American ideology, barriers to entry, clean water, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, George Santayana, glass ceiling, income inequality, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, payday loans, pink-collar, post-work, publish or perish, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Silicon Valley, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

As a result, scholars serve as adjuncts in order to retain an institutional affiliation, while the institution offers them no respect in return. Dispensable Automatons Is academia a cult? That is debatable, but it is certainly a caste system. Outspoken academics like Pannapacker are rare: most tenured faculty have stayed silent about the adjunct crisis. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it,” wrote Upton Sinclair, the American author famous for his essays on labor exploitation. Somewhere in America, a tenured professor may be teaching about his work as a nearby adjunct holds office hours out of her car. On Twitter, I asked why so many professors who study injustice ignore the plight of their peers. “They don’t consider us their peers,” the adjuncts wrote back. Academia likes to think of itself as a meritocracy—which it is not—and those who have tenured jobs like to think they deserved them.


pages: 142 words: 47,993

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

Columbine, cuban missile crisis, financial independence, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, slashdot, stem cell, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence

I am convinced that this woman, whose job it is to follow around a man with two jobs—running for president and being vice president—is beyond overworked. I know this partly because the first chance she got to return my phone call about all of this was at 1:15 in the morning. This poor reporter, this gatekeeper of democracy, was getting her first break in the day in the middle of the night. And, considering that I am a writer who has publicly misspelled names, confused Sinclair Lewis with Upton Sinclair, and gotten who knows how many things wrong over the years, I am one pot who should not be calling the Gray Lady black. Both The New York Times and The Washington Post did publish corrections. And this is what Seelye told me. About the students of Concord High, she said, “These kids are well-intentioned. They’re paying attention. We did get one word wrong. But they are magnifying what happened.


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

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, American ideology, 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, Nelson Mandela, 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.


pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

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

bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, 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: 1,106 words: 335,322

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

business cycle, 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: 208 words: 51,277

Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America's Favorite Food by Steve Striffler

clean water, collective bargaining, corporate raider, illegal immigration, immigration reform, longitudinal study, market design, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile

Other important “early” works include Maria Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, For We Are Sold, I and My People: Women and Industry in Mexico’s Frontier (State University of New York Press, ); and William E. Thompson, “Hanging Tongues: A Sociological Encounter with the Assembly Line,” Qualitative Sociology , no.  ():  – . For an excellent, more recent look at factory work, see Kevin A. Yelvington, Producing Power: Ethnicity, Gender, and Class in a Caribbean Workplace (Temple University Press, ). The obvious starting place for accounts of the meat industry is Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (; Barnes and Noble Books, ). For a thorough and recent firsthand account inside a meatpacking plant, see Deborah Fink, Cutting into the Meatpacking Line: Workers and Change in the Rural Midwest (University of North Carolina Press, ). Some excellent accounts from journalists include Tony Horowitz, “ to Nowhere,” Wall Street Journal, Dec. , , p. A; and Charlie LeDuff, “At a Slaughterhouse, Some Things Never Die,” New York Times, June , .


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

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.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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.


pages: 488 words: 144,145

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

Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, 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: 538 words: 145,243

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World by Joshua B. Freeman

anti-communist, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate raider, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, mass immigration, means of production, mittelstand, Naomi Klein, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

(Alfred Kazin shrewdly observed that U.S.A., with its complex structure composed of different types of narrative building blocks, was itself a “tool,” “another American invention—an American thing peculiar to the opportunity and stress of American life.”)47 Louis-Ferdinand Céline, who visited a Detroit Ford factory in 1926, included a scene of working on the company assembly line in Journey to the End of the Night (1932). Upton Sinclair wrote a not very good novel about Ford, The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America (1937). And most famously, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) depicts a dystopia of Fordism, a portrait of life A.F.—the years “Anno Ford,” measured from 1908, when the Model T was introduced—with Henry Ford the deity.48 Dos Passos, Sinclair, Céline, and Huxley all wrote about Ford and Fordism during the 1930s, well after the initial burst of journalistic and industrial excitement over mass production.

On Ford’s anti-Semitism, see Sward, Legend of Henry Ford, 146–60. 47.John Dos Passos, The Big Money ([1936] New York: New American Library, 1969), 70–77, and Alfred Kazin’s introduction to this edition, xi–xii. Cecelia Tichi expanded on Kazin’s observation in Shifting Gears: Technology, Literature, Culture in Modernist America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987), 194–216. 48.Smith, Making the Modern, 16–18; Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night ([1932] New York: New Directions, 1938); Upton Sinclair, The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America (Emaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1937); Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: A Novel (London: Chatto & Windus, 1932). 49.Darley, Factory, 15–27, 34; Wilson, Pilgrim, and Tashjian, The Machine Age in America, 23, 29; Kim Sichel, From Icon to Irony: German and American Industrial Photography (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995); Leah Bendavid-Val, Propaganda and Dreams: Photographing the 1930s in the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A.


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

Alistair Cooke, American ideology, business cycle, 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, Jones Act, 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, Sam Peltzman, 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.


pages: 585 words: 151,239

Capitalism in America: A History by Adrian Wooldridge, Alan Greenspan

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, white flight, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War, young professional

Henry George wondered why the “enormous increase in the power of producing wealth” had not “made real poverty a thing of the past.” “Capital is piled on capital,” he argued, “to the exclusion of men of lesser means and the utter prostration of personal independence and enterprise on the part of the less successful masses.”27 Henry Demarest Lloyd proclaimed that “wealth” was lined up against “commonwealth.” The era’s most talented novelists added their voices to the muckraking cause. Upton Sinclair exposed the horrific conditions in the meatpacking industry in Chicago. Frank Norris denounced the Southern Pacific Railroad as “an excrescence, a gigantic parasite fattening upon the life-blood of an entire commonwealth” in The Octopus.28 Theodore Dreiser portrayed the compulsion of tycoons in his trilogy based on Charles Yerkes. Many leading Progressives broadened their attacks on the ills of big business into an attack on the economic foundations of capitalism.

Norman Thomas, the perennial Socialist presidential candidate, dismissed the New Deal as an attempt “to cure tuberculosis with cough drops.” Robert La Follette, the governor of Wisconsin, a state with a long tradition of Progressivism (some of it colored by the large number of Scandinavians who settled there, with their strong commitment to good government and social equality), argued that FDR needed to go much further in securing an equitable distribution of wealth. Upton Sinclair, the muckraking novelist, ran for governor of California on a program of confiscating private property and abolishing profit. Another Californian, Francis Townsend, hitherto an obscure physician, became a national figure with his plan to pay everyone two hundred dollars a month, the equivalent of an annual payment of forty-five thousand dollars in today’s money, to retire at sixty. Opinion polls showed that 56 percent of the population favored Townsend’s plan, and a petition calling on Congress to enact the plan into law gathered 10 million signatures.


The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, obamacare, Skype, Upton Sinclair

., I made a vow to change my ways. But something happened during the cleanse: I started watching marathons of Chopped and Master Chef and began to question why I stopped eating meat in the first place. I honestly couldn’t recall. Then it all came back to me. I was in the ninth grade and my father had picked me up from school; NPR was playing on the radio, as always. About the same time we were assigned to read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, I remember listening to a story about how meat was processed and what hot dogs were made of. Then and there, I decided to give up meat. Even my dad, whose regular palate matches that of a protein-craving pregnant woman’s, declared that he would stop eating meat, too. The following day my last meat meal (on purpose, anyway) was chicken enchiladas. My dad’s resolve was less firm.


pages: 243 words: 61,237

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

always be closing, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, business cycle, 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, longitudinal study, 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


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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, Charles Lindbergh, 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, 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: 363 words: 11,523

The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More by Joshua Applestone, Jessica Applestone, Alexandra Zissu

back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, mass immigration, McMansion, refrigerator car, Upton Sinclair

Join the fun at meatingplace.com. 324 BOOKS Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin The CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories by Daniel Imhoff Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell The Conscious Kitchen: The New Way to Buy and Cook Food—To Protect the Earth, Improve Your Health, and Eat Deliciously by Alexandra Zissu Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, PastaMaker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford The Jungle by Upton Sinclair Kitchen Pro Series: Guide to Meat Identi cation, Fabrication, and Utilization and Guide to Poultry Identi cation, Fabrication, and Utilization by Thomas Schneller and the Culinary Institute of America Meat: A Kitchen Education by James Peterson The Meat Buyer’s Guide and The Poultry Buyer’s Guide by the North American Meat Processors Association The Niman Ranch Cookbook: From Farm to Table with America’s 325 Finest Meat by Bill Niman and Janet Fletcher The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them by Peter Kaminsky Pork and Sons by Stéphane Reynaud Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers by Marissa Guggiana Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef by Betty Fussell Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms by Nicolette Hahn Niman The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Salad Bar Beef and Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann and Peter Kaminsky The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson SOURCES • The herbs and spices for our rubs, sausages, and marinades come from Mountain Rose Herbs: mountainroseherbs.com. • For all of your butcher paper, twine, cutting, and sausagemaking needs, head to butcher-packer.com or sausagemaker.com. • For our favorite stovetop-to-oven steel pans, check out www.debuyer.com. • For our preferred enamel-coated cast-iron pots, visit lecreuset.com. • For more specifics on roasting whole pigs, including 326 charcoal, wood, building fires, tips, and timing as you plan your roast, go to the sections on roasting a whole pig at firepit-and-grilling-guru.com and askthemeatman.com. • The all important metal aprons can be found at Saf-T-Guard, saftguard.com. 327 328 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Josh and Jessica Applestone would like to thank the “old men” of the business who taught us everything we know: Tom, Bob, Kent, Bill, Jan, Hans, and of course, Ted.


pages: 267 words: 71,123

End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

airline deregulation, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, business cycle, 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, 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.


pages: 208 words: 69,863

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

airport security, Bob Geldof, City Beautiful movement, desegregation, Frank Gehry, gun show loophole, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence

Calling his agenda the “square deal,” he achieved an unprecedented happy medium between the demands of labor and capital, settling a coal strike in 1902 in which he forced the owners to raise wages and stick to a maximum nine-hour workday, but prevented the workers from forming a union. (Nobody was entirely happy, but compared to the bloody strikes of the 1890s, it was an innovation in that nobody got killed.) Roosevelt also coined the term “muckrakers” to describe the crusading journalists like Ida Tarbell, who had taken on the monolith of Standard Oil, and Upton Sinclair, whose book The Jungle detailed the horrors of the meatpacking industry. Roosevelt acted on the abuses they brought to light, pursuing dozens of antitrust suits and signing into law the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. I think Roosevelt’s soft spot for the underdog in Washington was the influence of New York City — his aristocratic upbringing here and its resultant noblesse oblige. Unlike the ruthless nouveau riches like Standard Oil’s self-made John D.


pages: 257 words: 68,143

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

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.


pages: 281 words: 71,242

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer

artificial general intelligence, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, Colonization of Mars, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global village, Google Glasses, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, income inequality, intangible asset, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, PageRank, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, yellow journalism

But the advent of book advances, magazine jobs, and hefty fees for writing assignments made writing a viable path for a far vaster population, who couldn’t find the hours for such a consuming pastime. Almost immediately after Twain’s triumph, writing was liberated from the privileged grasp of Brahmins. For the first time in the history of the Republic, American literature came to dominate American tastes. A new generation of writers soon emerged, which better reflected the country, though very far from perfectly. It wasn’t concentrated in any region or any caste. Jack London and Upton Sinclair came from poverty. The hinterlands beyond New England and New York supplied writers like William Dean Howells, Theodore Dreiser, Ezra Pound, and Twain himself. The sociology of American letters quickly changed because the economics did. Publishing became a big business. Writers produced the essential commodity, and their status and compensation came to reflect that fact. Magazines and newspapers had long neglected to credit the authors of pieces with a byline—that’s how low they considered the scribes who supplied them with words.


pages: 242 words: 71,943

Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity by Charles L. Marohn, Jr.

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, A Pattern Language, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bank run, big-box store, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, global reserve currency, housing crisis, index fund, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, mass immigration, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, reserve currency, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, white flight, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

People wanted cul-de-sacs, spread-out development patterns, drive-through restaurants, and lots of parking. And because people wanted it, they will find a way to pay for it, and that was all the justification needed to get going. Coming from professionals who were compensated for building all this stuff, that attitude seemed stunningly self-serving. Don’t we have an obligation to make sure that what we built could plausibly be sustained by future generations? It was Upton Sinclair who said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” With a few notable exceptions, I found Sinclair’s observation maddeningly insightful. For me, the evidence was pointing to a conclusion I found difficult to believe, yet impossible to ignore: The more our cities build, the poorer they become. The Municipal Ponzi Scheme When local governments need professional assistance, they often issue what is called a request for proposal (RFP).


pages: 741 words: 179,454

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

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, business cycle, 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, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, 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, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, 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, NetJets, 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 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: 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.


pages: 1,073 words: 314,528

Strategy: A History by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Black Swan, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, defense in depth, desegregation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, endowment effect, Ford paid five dollars a day, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, lateral thinking, linear programming, loose coupling, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mental accounting, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Nelson Mandela, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Torches of Freedom, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, unemployed young men, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Rockefeller. Life in the city was tough and conditions were dire. The “first in violence,” wrote radical journalist Lincoln Steffens in 1904, “deepest in dirt; loud, lawless, unlovely, ill-smelling, new; an overgrown gawk of a village, the teeming tough among cities. Criminally it was wide open; commercially it was brazen; and socially it was thoughtless and raw.”29 For his novel The Jungle, Upton Sinclair went undercover in the stockyards to expose the awful circumstances of immigrant workers in the meatpacking industry. Max Weber visited Chicago in the fall of 1904 en route to a major scientific congress in St. Louis. He described it, in a striking metaphor, as being “like a human being with its skin peeled off and whose intestines are seen at work.”30 He toured the stockyards, watching the automated process whereby an “unsuspecting bovine” entered the slaughtering area, was hit by a hammer and collapsed, gripped by an iron clamp, hoisted up and started on a journey which saw workers “eviscerate and skin it.”

This required an emphasis on training and local leadership, strengthening established neighborhood institutions, and using activities as a device to create participation.33 He argued that local organizers, preferably former delinquents, could help show their own people a way to more acceptable behavior. This approach was controversial. He was directly challenging paternalistic social work and was accused of tolerating criminality, encouraging populist agitators to stir up local people against those who were trying to help them and had their best interests at heart. In 1938, Alinsky was assigned to the tough Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago, already notorious as the jungle of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel. He was a natural in the organizer’s role. Clever, street-wise, and brash, Alinsky had a knack of gaining the confidence of people who might otherwise feel neglected and marginalized. His approach was more political than the project allowed, however. Not only did he use the issue of delinquency to move into virtually all problems facing the neighborhood, but he also put together a community organization based on representatives of key groups who had clout because of who they represented and not just as individuals.

The ability to disseminate a message to extraordinary numbers of potential voters was coupled with possibilities for tailoring that message to the interests and views of particular constituencies. Sophisticated forms of polling based on demographic sampling, pioneered by George Gallup in the 1930s, made it possible to monitor developing trends in opinion and identify issues of high salience. In 1933, the campaigning socialist journalist Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle, wrote a short book entitled I, Governor of California and How I Ended Poverty. It was a bestseller, a history of the future. Sinclair claimed it was a unique attempt by a historian “to make his history true.” California was then a one-party Republican state, but also had 29 percent unemployment. Sinclair decided to run as a Democrat on a promise to end poverty through cooperative factories and farms and higher taxes.


pages: 240 words: 75,304

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

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


pages: 208 words: 74,328

The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell

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.


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, business cycle, 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.


pages: 252 words: 72,473

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

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.


pages: 232 words: 71,965

Dead Companies Walking by Scott Fearon

bank run, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, corporate raider, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fear of failure, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, housing crisis, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, McMansion, moral hazard, new economy, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, young professional

And yet, just like in the corporate world, most investors refuse to acknowledge this inescapable reality. That denial leads to some all-too-common mistakes. Notes *Interview with Peter Lynch, PBS Frontline, January 14, 1997. Eight Losing Money Without Even Trying Welcome to Wall Street It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. —Upton Sinclair The only trouble with capitalism is the capitalists—they’re too damn greedy. —Herbert Hoover My immediate supervisor at my first job in finance at Texas Commerce Bank was the trust department’s senior portfolio manager, a tall, lanky Michigan native who answered directly to Geoff Raymond. He was and still is one of the most trusting and warm-hearted people I have ever met. Unfortunately, those qualities are not terribly helpful in the money management game.


pages: 142 words: 18,753

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

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: 281 words: 79,958

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

23andMe, 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: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, twin studies, 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.”


pages: 342 words: 86,256

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

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, starchitect, 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: 86,056

The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality by Bhaskar Sunkara

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, inventory management, labor-force participation, land reform, land value tax, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, new economy, Occupy movement, postindustrial economy, precariat, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, We are the 99%

It offered an eclectic mix of republicanism, Bellamy’s “nationalism,” and radical populism.12 After a failed effort at creating a utopian commune in Tennessee, Wayland launched Appeal to Reason in 1897, which also used the language of populism and democracy in its attempts to root socialism in American soil. As the Socialist Party took off, and with Debs as a supporter and contributor, circulation grew to the hundreds of thousands. At its peak, Appeal to Reason was the fourth-most-read publication in the country and spawned a broader publishing empire, popularizing authors including Jack London and Upton Sinclair. ALL WAS NOT well in the socialist camp, however, with the party riven along ideological lines similar to those that fractured the Social Democrats in Germany. On the right, Victor Berger proved himself to be an American Eduard Bernstein in his advocacy for evolutionary change within the system as the path to socialism. Members of Berger’s Milwaukee wing were called “sewer socialists” for their emphasis on local government, particularly public health efforts.


pages: 283 words: 81,163

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

banking crisis, British Empire, business cycle, 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.


pages: 627 words: 89,295

The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy by Katherine M. Gehl, Michael E. Porter

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, first-past-the-post, future of work, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, pension reform, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair, zero-sum game

McClure, 1904) declared that even more to blame than the political bosses were the members of the public who benefitted from the corruption and, more shameful still, those who did not benefit but remained apathetic, complacent, or cynical. For more, see Frank Norris, The Octopus: A Story of California (Leipzig, Germany: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1901); Ida Tarbell, The History of the Standard Oil Company (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1901); Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (New York: Doubleday, 1904); Lincoln Steffens, The Shame of the Cities (Bloomingdale, IL: McClure, Philips, and Co, 1904); David Graham Phillips, “The Treason of the Senate,”Cosmopolitan, 1906. Link and McCormick write that “Progressivism cannot be understood without seeing how the masses of Americans perceived and responded to such events. Widely circulated magazines gave people everywhere the sordid facts of corruption and carried the clamor for reform into every city, village, and county.”


pages: 372 words: 96,474

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

big-box store, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Haight Ashbury, index card, Kickstarter, 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: 362 words: 95,782

Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry

Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, illegal immigration, intermodal, jimmy wales, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

’ * * * MARYLAND KEY FACTS Abbreviation: MD Nickname: The Old Line State Capital: Annapolis Flower: Black-eyed Susan Tree: White oak Bird: Baltimore oriole Motto: Fatti maschii, parole femine (‘Manly deeds, womanly words’–I mean, what?) Well-known residents and natives: Spiro Agnew, Carl Bernstein, James M. Cain, Tom Clancy, Dashiell Hammett, H.L. Mencken, Ogden Nash, Edgar Allan Poe, Upton Sinclair, Leon Uris, Tori Amos, Toni Braxton, David Byrne, Cab Calloway, Philip Glass, Billie Holiday, Frank Zappa, David Hasselhoff, Goldie Hawn, Jim Henson, Spike Jonze, Edward Norton, John Waters, Johns Hopkins, George Peabody. * * * Well! Not wishing to humiliate this fine young waitress by exposing further ignorance of her own home state, nor wanting to rob her of my custom, I order a hot-dog and a root beer.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

So the competitors had no choice but to cooperate—to import news from Europe via undersea cables, to co-sponsor horse-borne dispatches from the Mexican front, to circulate one another’s reporting. The New York papers shared ownership and control of the enterprise, and they sold their dispatches to other organizations beyond the docks of the Hudson.30 The temptations to hoard this news-gathering resource were immense, and their defeat came only gradually, over the course of a century. Early on, Upton Sinclair called AP “the most powerful and most sinister monopoly in America.” After a scandal resulted in its relocation to Chicago in 1897, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled against AP’s restrictions on membership as anti-competitive, and in 1900, the company came back to New York, which had more permissive laws for cooperative associations. But it would take a wartime Justice Department investigation, and a 1945 Supreme Court ruling, to turn AP from an exclusive guild into a true, open-membership co-op.


pages: 321 words: 92,258

Lift: Fitness Culture, From Naked Greeks and Acrobats to Jazzercise and Ninja Warriors by Daniel Kunitz

barriers to entry, creative destruction, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Islamic Golden Age, mental accounting, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Upton Sinclair, Works Progress Administration

He espoused eating very little, mostly raw vegetables, and in 1902 he opened a chain of vegetarian restaurants in New York; he was a nudist and was arrested for pedaling obscenity more than once; he fought against restrictive women’s clothing and for the rights of women, and proselytized for exercise of all sorts. His outlook shared much with the Lebensreform movement, which arose in Germany in the late nineteenth century, as well as with New York’s nascent bohemia, and the era’s reformist politics. Physical Culture included in its pages essays by such prominent reformers as Upton Sinclair and George Bernard Shaw. Macfadden boasted a large personality, and though one side of him tapped into the countercultural aspect of fitness, the other was no less in step with the era’s glorification of the capitalist ethic. “Be like me,” he urged audiences and readers—a wealthy businessman with boundless energy. Indeed he became the first fitness mega-entrepreneur, making his physique a symbol of his success, and in this he was followed by other stars of the fitness business, like Schwarzenegger, Jack LaLanne, and even Jane Fonda.


pages: 401 words: 93,256

Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life by Rory Sutherland

3D printing, Alfred Russel Wallace, barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, butterfly effect, California gold rush, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, double helix, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Firefox, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Chrome, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Hyperloop, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, IKEA effect, information asymmetry, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mason jar, Murray Gell-Mann, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Veblen good

Maskelyne might have felt the same way: ‘We don’t need your spectacular astronomical knowledge any more, mate, because this clockmaker has just cracked the problem.’ The same problem is widespread in medicine. Surgeons felt challenged by keyhole surgery and other new, less invasive procedures that can be carried out with the support of radiographers, because they used skills different from those that they had spent a lifetime perfecting. Similarly, you can imagine how London black cab drivers feel about Uber. As the novelist Upton Sinclair once remarked, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’ One of the common arguments against vaping was that it renormalised smoking, because it looks a bit like smoking. I find that quite hard to believe, frankly. Whatever you think about smoking, it does look fairly cool – a remake of Casablanca with the cigarettes replaced with vaporisers would be somewhat less romantic.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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, 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: 324 words: 93,175

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

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, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, 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: 334 words: 93,162

This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim

airport security, Alexander Shulgin, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Burning Man, crack epidemic, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, East Village, failed state, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, illegal immigration, John Markoff, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, mandatory minimum, new economy, New Urbanism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, women in the workforce

As such pieces galvanized women against the industry, Jane Addams, the legendary Chicago suffrage and antiwar activist, campaigned for a ban on the common patent-medicine ingredient cocaine, which passed in her hometown in 1904. In 1905, muck-raking journalist Samuel Hopkins Adams published an eleven-part investigative series in Collier’s Weekly exposing much of the patent-medicine industry as fraudulent. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle followed soon after, helping convince President Theodore Roosevelt and the American public that a law regulating both drugs and food was needed. Historian James Harvey Young describes the coalition that got the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 through Congress as made up of “agricultural chemists, State food and drug officials, women’s club members, the medical profession, sympathetic journalists, [and] the reform wing of business.”


pages: 829 words: 229,566

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

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, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, 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, Jones Act, Kickstarter, 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, renewable energy transition, 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, 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: 364 words: 102,528

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

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.


The King of Oil by Daniel Ammann

accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, business intelligence, buy low sell high, energy security, family office, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, oil shock, peak oil, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, trade liberalization, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, Yom Kippur War

It was the beginning of World War II, which was soon to develop into the biggest and deadliest conflict in human history. It was probably only a matter of days until the German troops would also attack France via Belgium. By the spring of 1940 it was easy to predict what would then happen to a Jewish family. The racist Nuremberg Laws, which systematically discriminated against and disenfranchised the Jews, had already been in force in Germany since 1935. Books by Kurt Tucholsky, Upton Sinclair, Sigmund Freud, Anna Seghers, and Lion Feuchtwanger had been publicly burned. Jews were effectively excluded from economic, political, and social life in the German Reich. Following legal discrimination and the expropriation of Jewish property, the Kristallnacht in November 1938 signaled the start of their physical persecution as well. Adolf Hitler’s notorious speech on January 30, 1939, the sixth anniversary of his takeover of power, was heard on radios and seen in the weekly newsreels in cinemas.


pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

Historian Howard Zinn notes that “hat and cap makers were getting respiratory diseases, quarrymen were inhaling deadly chemicals, lithographic printers were getting arsenic poisoning.” In 1914, according to a report of the Commission on Industrial Relations, thirty-five thousand workers were killed in industrial accidents and seven hundred thousand were injured.6 Populist support for an organized workers movement began to grow in the first decade of the twentieth century, assisted by the “muckrakers” movement of reform-minded journalists. The most famous of these was Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle, who wrote about the appalling working conditions in Chicago slaughterhouses, the distribution of diseased and rotten meat, and the adulteration of food through the addition of cheap fillers. Sinclair’s work led to the development of the Food and Drug Act of 1906, the Meat Inspection Act of 1906, and the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Sinclair was disappointed by this turn of events: he wrote The Jungle to help meatpacking workers, not to improve the quality of meat.


pages: 376 words: 110,321

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

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society, haute cuisine, Kitchen Debate, lateral thinking, 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: 273 words: 34,920

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

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: 382 words: 105,819

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee

4chan, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boycotts of Israel, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, computer age, cross-subsidies, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, game design, income inequality, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Lean Startup, light touch regulation, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

We were hopeful that the TED audience would embrace the ideas and offer to help. What we got instead was polite interest but little in the way of follow-up. We should not have been surprised. Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and the other social players have created more than one trillion dollars in wealth for their executives, employees, and investors, many of whom attend TED. To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it is difficult to get a person to embrace an idea when his or her net worth depends on not embracing it. We took two insights away from TED: we needed to look outside tech for allies, and we needed to consider other formulations of our message besides brain hacking. If we were to have any hope of engaging a large audience, we needed to frame our argument in ways that would resonate with people outside Silicon Valley. 5 Mr.


pages: 422 words: 104,457

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

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, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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: 353 words: 110,919

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Cass Sunstein, coherent worldview, 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: 383 words: 108,266

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

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, IKEA effect, 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: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Activists and legislators alike are taking aim at the slot machine aspects of our iPhone addiction, calling for regulation that would protect children from the most noxious types of predatory behavior and marketing online, and looking at whether all of us—kids and adults alike—should be spending a lot less time on our devices. The short answer—yes. If governments are empowered to restrict mind-altering drugs, then why not limit mind-altering technology, whose effects, being more profound and more ubiquitous, pose a greater hazard? The Food and Drug Administration was established back in 1906 in response to the outrage raised by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, a searing account of the nauseating health hazards created by an unregulated meatpacking industry. I’m hoping that Don’t Be Evil might help create a similar environment that would foster the creation of a digital FDA for the brain, as the current FDA is for the body. It would study the effects of all the new technology—not just on our own mental health, but the health of the nation—and offer sensible regulations to ensure that the technology that’s now so indispensable is in service to us, not betraying us.


pages: 379 words: 109,223

Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business by Ken Auletta

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, corporate raider, crossover SUV, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, forensic accounting, Google Glasses, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, NetJets, Network effects, pattern recognition, pets.com, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, éminence grise

Before tradeoffs can be made, a critical question intrudes: Who owns the data, the company or the citizen? And have citizens really ceded their ownership when they click “Accept” or “Agree”? “The entire economics of marketing depends on the answer to that question,” Marshall says. It depends on one other question as well: What does government say? The U.S. government has at times stepped in to regulate advertising. Inspired in part by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Congress in 1906 passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, requiring what was advertised on food and drug labels to accurately disclose all ingredients. In the 1930s, a variety of New Deal legislation was adopted creating oversight of how certain products, including drugs and cosmetics that might pose health hazards, could be advertised. Defying enormous political pressure from tobacco companies and broadcasters who benefited from their ad dollars, Congress in 1971 agreed that cigarette smoking could be a health hazard and regulated cigarette advertising.


Western USA by Lonely Planet

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donner party, East Village, edge city, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, Maui Hawaii, off grid, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supervolcano, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

The arrival of more people and resources via the railroad led to further land exploration and the frequent discovery of mineral deposits. Many Western mining towns were founded in the 1870s and 1880s; some are now ghost towns like Santa Rita while others like Tombstone and Silver City remain active. THE LONG WALK & APACHE CONFLICTS The Oscar-winning There Will Be Blood (2007), adapted from Upton Sinclair’s book Oil!, depicts a Californian oil magnate and was based on real-life SoCal tycoon Edward Doheny. For decades, US forces pushed west across the continent, killing or forcibly moving whole tribes of Native Americans who were in their way. The most widely known incident is the forceful relocation of many Navajo in 1864. US forces, led by Kit Carson, destroyed Navajo fields, orchards and houses, and forced the people into surrendering or withdrawing into remote parts of Canyon de Chelly.

Social Realism Arguably the most influential author ever to emerge from California was John Steinbeck, who was born in Salinas in 1902. His masterpiece of social realism, The Grapes of Wrath, tells of the struggles of migrant farm workers. Playwright Eugene O’Neill took his 1936 Nobel Prize money and transplanted himself to near San Francisco, where he wrote the autographical play Long Day’s Journey into Night. Upton Sinclair’s Oil! , which inspired Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie There Will Be Blood , was a muckraking work of historical fiction with socialist overtones. Pulp Noir & Mysteries In the 1930s, San Francisco and Los Angeles became the capitals of the pulp detective novel. Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon) made San Francisco’s fog a sinister character. The king of hard-boiled crime writers was Raymond Chandler, who thinly disguised his hometown of Santa Monica as Bay City.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

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, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, 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 Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, Shai Danziger, 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.


Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America by David Callahan

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, automated trading system, Bernie Sanders, Bonfire of the Vanities, carbon footprint, carried interest, clean water, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Thorp, financial deregulation, financial independence, global village, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, income inequality, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, medical malpractice, mega-rich, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, working poor, World Values Survey

They committed $30 million over three years to the group, whose mission was to produce “journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.” For years, various liberal journalists had tried to start something similar to ProPublica, only to find that funding was elusive. Wealthy donors simply weren’t interested in funding modern-day Upton Sinclairs and the kind of muckraking that had advanced reforms in previous eras. For instance, Russ Baker, a veteran investigative reporter, hit a brick wall with funders when he tried to start something called the Real News Project. Yet after less than a year— thanks to one checkbook—ProPublica emerged from scratch to have bustling headquarters in New York’s financial district and a staff of more than twenty editors and investigative reporters.


pages: 402 words: 110,972

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

AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, 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, 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, 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: 265 words: 15,515

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

business cycle, 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: 423 words: 118,002

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

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, activist lawyer, addicted to oil, 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: 403 words: 111,119

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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, 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, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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, Kickstarter, 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, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, 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: 395 words: 118,446

The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Martha Banta

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, greed is good, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, Upton Sinclair

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics 1899 Publication of The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of the Evolution of Institutions, title later changed to The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions. 1900 Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams; Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie 1901–9 Progressive Era ‘muckrakers’ protest against social evils in the press; President Theodore Roosevelt attacks the Trusts; publication of Frank Norris’s The Octopus and The Pit and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle—exposés of business greed and corruption; Henry James’s The American Scene examines social consequences of the expenditure of great wealth. 1901 Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery 1903 Lester Frank Ward, Pure Sociology; W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk 1905 Albert Einstein submits his first paper on the special theory of relativity. Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth 1906–9 Teaches at Stanford University; divorced by Ellen Rolfe in 1906; dismissed from Stanford for ‘personal affairs’. 1906 Turned down for position as head librarian at the Library of Congress; rejected by Harvard University for a faculty post; dismissed by the University of Chicago over scandals involving relations with various women. 1911–18 Teaches at the University of Missouri. 1911 Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management 1914 Marries Anne Fessenden Bradley, divorcee with two daughters; increasing problems with ill health; publication of The Instinct of Workmanship and the State of the Industrial Arts.


pages: 404 words: 115,108

They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy by Lawrence Lessig

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Cass Sunstein, Columbine, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Parag Khanna, plutocrats, Plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Upton Sinclair

Like ordinary life, we could come to understand the characters of that story, and the facts that constrain them, much more completely than ever before. Of course, it has always been the case that the great lessons of morality and politics have been taught through literature, not philosophy. Society understood itself through the novel, not the political tract. Whether Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, or Upton Sinclair, it was in the richness of stories that society came to understand what it was, and then from that understanding resolved to become something different. Professors and pundits are just who we say matters; who we know matters is something quite different. The difference today is just that these narratives get carried to video. Novels are great, but their reach is small. Television reaches orders of magnitude differently.


pages: 389 words: 112,319

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

But more often than not, we stick with the default even when the benefits of change far exceed the costs. Vested interests also reinforce the status quo. High-level executives at Fortune 500 companies shun innovation because their compensation is tied to short-term quarterly outcomes that may be temporarily disrupted by forging a new path. “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something,” Upton Sinclair said, “when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” If you were a horse breeder in Detroit in the early 1900s, you would have assumed that your competition was other breeders raising stronger and faster horses. If you ran a cab company ten years ago, you would have assumed that your competition was other cab companies. If you run airport security, you assume that the primary threat will come from another guy with a bomb in his shoe, so you “solve” terrorism by making everyone take off their shoes.


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

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

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, business cycle, 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, social intelligence, 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: 420 words: 121,881

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

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: 454 words: 122,612

In-N-Out Burger by Stacy Perman

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: 494 words: 116,739

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

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, longitudinal study, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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, Stanford marshmallow experiment, 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: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

For hard data on newspaper markets in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, see Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again (New York: Nation Books, 2010), chap. 3. 64. Richard L. Kaplan, Politics and the American Press: The Rise of Objectivity, 1865–1920 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 123–24. 65. For the classic treatment, see Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check (1919; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003). 66. Robert M. La Follette, ed. Ellen Torelle, The Political Philosophy of Robert M. La Follette (Madison, WI: Robert M. La Follette Co., 1920). 67. Cited in Kaplan, Politics and the American Press, 166. 68. See Duane C.S. Stoltzfus, Freedom from Advertising: E.W. Scripps’s Chicago Experiment (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007). 69.


pages: 532 words: 139,706

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

23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Ben Horowitz, 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, 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: 385 words: 133,839

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

carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, Internet Archive, laissez-faire capitalism, market design, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, 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: 407 words: 136,138

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

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: 510 words: 141,188

Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom by Katherine Eban

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, global pandemic, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

In the factories where my reporting led, the FDA’s investigators are an infrequent presence and pressure for profits is intense. The result is a facade of compliance that papers over a darker reality. “It’s like it was at the turn of the twentieth century,” a Dutch pharmaceutical executive, who encountered a frog infestation at a manufacturing plant in China, told me. “It’s like The Jungle,” he said, referring to the book by Upton Sinclair that exposed gruesome conditions in America’s meatpacking plants. There is no disputing the benefit of well-made generic drugs. When generics work perfectly, and many do, the results can be miraculous. “Basically, the ability of India and other countries to produce generic medicine at a fraction of the cost of the patented drugs saved the lives of millions of people in developing countries,” said Emi MacLean, formerly the U.S. director of the Access to Essential Medicines Campaign at Doctors Without Borders.


pages: 462 words: 129,022

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, greed is good, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, late fees, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, two-sided market, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working-age population

Every society has learned the painful way that there are those who seek to get rich not by inventing a better product or making some other contribution to society, but by exploitation—exploitation of market power, exploitation of imperfections of information, exploitation especially of those who are vulnerable, poor, or less educated. To take one classic example: meatpackers tried to take advantage of consumers, selling them rotten meat, until Upton Sinclair exposed this in his 1906 book, The Jungle. The book caused such furor that the industry then asked to be regulated so confidence in meat could be restored. To take another example, there is almost universal recognition that a person would do anything to prevent his children from starving to death, or to buy them necessary medicine—including borrowing at usurious interest rates. That’s why so many countries and religions have laws and precepts preventing usury, and why the more humane wealthier societies try to do what they can to prevent people from being in these extreme positions where they can be so exploited by others.


pages: 505 words: 142,118

A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp

3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, buy and hold, buy low sell high, carried interest, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, 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, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical arbitrage, stem cell, stocks for the long run, 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: 624 words: 127,987

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

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, 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, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, 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: 464 words: 127,283

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

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, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, 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, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, 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 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, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

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.


pages: 416 words: 129,308

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

Airbnb, animal electricity, 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, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, MITM: man-in-the-middle, 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, uber lyft, 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: 589 words: 128,484

America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve by Roger Lowenstein

bank run, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, corporate governance, fiat currency, financial independence, full employment, Long Term Capital Management, moral hazard, old-boy network, quantitative easing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair, walking around money

Wall Street was often depicted as scheming and conspiratorial and, indeed, omniscient and all-powerful. Barely had the Panic ended when Alfred Owen Crozier, a prominent Ohio attorney and critic of Wall Street, penned The Magnet, a novel that depicted the Wall Street “machine” as an “inscrutable and mysterious power” that serves “its invisible master, undetected, with . . . infallible accuracy.” Crozier was outflanked by the better-known Upton Sinclair, whose 1908 novel The Money Changers featured a Morgan-like figure who deliberately orchestrates a panic. The view of Morgan as inciting a crisis was a gross misreading of the man. His signature projects, such as consolidating bankrupt railroads and organizing trusts, always served the goal of greater order in commercial life. That his deal making tended to replace cutthroat competition with more gentlemanly collusion, and to augment profits, is without a doubt.


pages: 407 words: 135,242

The Streets Were Paved With Gold by Ken Auletta

British Empire, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Ronald Reagan, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working-age population

Because management is a cold abstraction, and the people who run government are too often judged by how well they run for office—by what they say, not what they do. Because we live in a self-indulgent society. And also because many of us retain vivid memories of the class conflict and abuse of an earlier era when all workers—like today’s migrant workers and coal miners—were victims of callous indifference. We remember the sweat shops, the union-busting goons, the conscripted children slaving fourteen hours a day. We remember Upton Sinclair’s poignant portrait of assembly line cruelty; John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. If you grew up in a working-class home, as I did, your natural instinct is to side with the worker against the boss and robber barons, to draw lines between the people and the privileged few. Government was a friend, labor unions represented the people against management. Today, government is not always a friend; is often wasteful, rigid, a tax-eating bureaucracy as immune to competition as any business monopoly.


pages: 515 words: 143,055

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

When repeated with diphtheria and tuberculosis, the experiment produced similar results.19 The lab concluded that Liquozone not only “had absolutely no curative effect but did, when given in pure form, lower the resistance of the animals, so that they died a little earlier than those not treated.” Coming in a more trusting age, when such revelations had greater power to shock, Adams’s article caused an astonishing outcry. A variety of actors, including various women’s organizations, and a crusading physician named Harvey Washington Wiley, began to push for legislation, long stalled in Congress, to impose basic labeling rules for foods and medicines. In 1906, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle encouraged demands for industry reform generally, with its depiction of nauseating and immoral practices in the meat industry. By that time President Theodore Roosevelt had joined the campaign; he’d later give a speech praising Collier’s Weekly for having “hit the patent medicine concerns very hard and greatly reduced the amount they spent in advertising.”20 Roosevelt added his weight to the assault on Congress, and the Food and Drugs Act was finally passed that year, despite strong congressional reluctance amid fierce industry lobbying.


pages: 399 words: 155,913

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

American ideology, 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, minimum wage unemployment, positional goods, price stability, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Robert Bork, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, 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.


The death and life of great American cities by Jane Jacobs

Golden Gate Park, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, 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.


pages: 621 words: 157,263

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

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: 514 words: 153,092

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, Charles Lindbergh, 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.


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

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: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, 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 Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Theodore Roosevelt was a member of the business-friendly Republican Party, but he still worried about “the vast individual and corporate fortunes, the vast combinations of capital which have marked the development of our industrial system”, and warned that “the state, and if necessary the nation, has got to possess the right of supervision and control as regards the great corporations which are its creatures”.83 Soon after Roosevelt became president in 1901, he filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Northern Securities, a railway holding company, and in 1906, he started a case that eventually led to the break-up of Standard Oil. Roosevelt also acted to control corporate excesses elsewhere, pushing through the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906 to improve conditions in the food industry.84 The poor hygiene standards of the meatpacking industry, and the dangerous conditions faced by workers, had been exposed by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle in 1904. Sinclair sent a copy of his book to the president, who had the abattoirs investigated and found that the conditions were as bad as the author described. By the time of the First World War, the corporate sector had emerged as a significant economic force. Businesses were becoming multinational, setting up factories and buying mines and plantations in other countries.


The Cigarette: A Political History by Sarah Milov

activist lawyer, affirmative action, airline deregulation, American Legislative Exchange Council, barriers to entry, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, fixed income, Frederick Winslow Taylor, G4S, global supply chain, imperial preference, Indoor air pollution, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Kitchen Debate, land tenure, new economy, New Journalism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, Torches of Freedom, trade route, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, women in the workforce

Duke” The most obvious source of farmers’ disempowerment, and most frequent target of their invective, was the Tobacco Trust—James B. Duke’s enormous and powerful tobacco monopoly that controlled the vast majority of the domestic and global tobacco trade.6 In popular memory, the Tobacco Trust has taken a backseat to John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust, J. P. Morgan’s U.S. Steel, and even the Beef Trust made famous by Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. But between its founding in 1890 and its dissolution in 1911, the Tobacco Trust controlled between 75 and 90 percent of all cigarette sales in the United States. One Kentucky congressman described the ATC as so intransigent in its operations that it could “make any convict feel like an honest man in comparison.”7 The Trust was dissolved by Supreme Court decree in 1911, but the successor companies continued to operate as an oligopoly.


pages: 467 words: 503

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

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: 581 words: 162,518

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights by Adam Winkler

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, desegregation, Donald Trump, financial innovation, glass ceiling, income inequality, invisible hand, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, obamacare, offshore financial centre, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, the scientific method, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, yellow journalism

In 1966–1967, over half of Americans reported having “a great deal of confidence” in corporate leaders, but by 1974–1976, that number had dropped precipitously to 20 percent.2 The unquestioned leader of the reform movement was Ralph Nader, a tireless populist advocate for curbing corporate power whom Newsweek magazine featured on its cover dressed as a knight in shining armor. Time magazine called Nader the “nation’s No. 1 consumer guardian,” who had prompted “much U.S. industry to reappraise its responsibilities and, against considerable odds, created a new climate of concern for the consumer among politicians and businessmen.” Nader carried on the spirit of the Muckrakers and, like Upton Sinclair exposing the slaughterhouses or Henry Demarest Lloyd warning of Standard Oil’s monopoly, he unmasked how corporations harmed consumers in the unyielding pursuit of profit. Nader, Time wrote, was “almost solely responsible” for the wave of “major federal laws” regulating business.3 The year 1971, when Philip Morris had its luncheon send-off for Lewis Powell, was a critical one in the battle between populist reformers and big business.


pages: 596 words: 163,682

The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind by Raghuram Rajan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, data acquisition, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial repression, full employment, future of work, global supply chain, high net worth, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

An alternative to breaking up a monopoly, especially if it was in an industry that was more productively serviced by a single company (also termed a “natural monopoly”) was to regulate it. Regulation also made sense when the consumer could not discern product quality up front or had to rely on promises of responsible corporate behavior such as adequate after-sale service. Once again, the “muckraking” press played a role in energizing public opinion. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, published in serial form in 1905, was primarily about the exploitative conditions faced by immigrant factory workers in the United States, but public attention focused on the filthy, unhygienic practices the book detailed in the meatpacking industry. Perhaps most frightening and revolting was his account of workers accidentally falling into great lard vats and their bodies being ground up along with other animal parts into “Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard,” which was then sold for public consumption.


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

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, business cycle, 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, information asymmetry, 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: 594 words: 165,413

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

Ada Lovelace, cuban missile crisis, financial independence, impulse control, LNG terminal, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, 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.


pages: 743 words: 189,512

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

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.


pages: 733 words: 179,391

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

"Robert Solow", 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 cycle, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, 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, longitudinal study, 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: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sam Peltzman, Shai Danziger, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, Thales and the olive presses, 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, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Kickstarter, 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, starchitect, 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: 650 words: 204,878

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre, William J. O'Neil

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, bank run, British Empire, business process, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, clean water, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, fiat currency, Hernando de Soto, margin call, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, price stability, refrigerator car, reserve currency, short selling, technology bubble, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, yellow journalism

I had kept track of all the grain markets in the way of crop news and pit gossip, and I heard that the powerful Armour interests were not friendly, marketwise, to Stratton.Of course I knew that Stratton would not let me have the corn I needed except at his own price, but the moment I heard the rumors about Armour being against Stratton it occurred to me that I might look to the Chicago traders for aid. The only way in which they could possibly help me was for them to sell me the corn that Stratton wouldn’t. The rest was easy. 11.4While Patten was running a corner in corn, Jonathan Ogden Armour—better known as J. Ogden—was running a parallel corner in wheat.9 The Armour family operated the large Armour & Co. meatpacking business that was the inspiration for Upton Sinclair’s exposé of the industry, The Jungle. The company was criticized for furnishing rotten meat to soldiers during the Spanish-American War. J. Ogden’s father, Philip D. Armour, started the company in the mid-1800s after driving cattle, mining gold, and shorting pork just as the Civil War was coming to an end—netting $2 million from all his endeavors with which to expand his meatpacking empire.10 From this early adventure in speculation, the Armours developed something of a family tradition.


pages: 686 words: 201,972

Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately

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, Jones Act, Louis Pasteur, megacity, music of the spheres, Norman Mailer, Peace of Westphalia, post-work, 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: 601 words: 193,225

740 Park: The Story of the World's Richest Apartment Building by Michael Gross

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bonfire of the Vanities, California gold rush, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, Irwin Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, McMansion, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, short selling, strikebreaker, The Predators' Ball, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

The following April, striking workers at the company’s mine at Ludlow were evicted from their company-owned homes and attacked in their tent colony by an overwhelming force of state militiamen, company guards, private detectives, and strikebreaking goons who shot and burned to death twenty people, thirteen of them women and children. It became known as the Ludlow Massacre. Junior at first dismissed the debacle as an “outbreak of lawlessness,” but after the socialist writer Upton Sinclair penned an open letter calling him a murderer, picket lines formed outside his office and the thirty-three-hundred-acre family compound at Pocantico, and a bomb meant for 10 West Fifty-fourth Street exploded before it got there, killing several people. Junior was blamed personally and underwent a profound conversion. “I should hope that I could never reach the point where I would not be constantly progressing to something higher, better—both with reference to my own acts and . . . to the general situation in the company,” he told an investigating commission.


The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina

9 dash line, Airbnb, British Empire, clean water, Costa Concordia, crowdsourcing, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, forensic accounting, global value chain, illegal immigration, invisible hand, John Markoff, Jones Act, Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Maui Hawaii, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, standardized shipping container, statistical arbitrage, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

Sealand slowly receded in the distance as father and son retreated to dry land and their warm homes in Essex, where they proudly reigned over their principality from afar. 4 THE SCOFFLAW FLEET This was in truth not living; it was scarcely even existing, and they felt that it was too little for the price they paid. They were willing to work all the time; and when people did their best, ought they not to be able to keep alive? —Upton Sinclair, The Jungle On the night of August 14, 2010, the captain of a South Korean trawler, the Oyang 70, left Port Chalmers, New Zealand, for what would be his final journey. The ship was bound for fishing grounds about four hundred miles east in the South Pacific Ocean. When the ship arrived three days later, the captain, a forty-two-year-old man named Hyonki Shin, ordered his crew to cast the net over the vessel’s rusty stern.


pages: 684 words: 212,486

Hunger: The Oldest Problem by Martin Caparros

Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, carbon footprint, commoditize, David Graeber, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, income inequality, index fund, invention of agriculture, Jeff Bezos, Live Aid, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, Slavoj Žižek, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the market place, Tobin tax, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%

South Sudan was, deep down, a battle in that war, which, as is fitting, was fought by the poor natives rather than the interested parties. With two million dead, this country’s hungry inhabitants were collateral damage. Nothing more. ON HUNGER: METAPHORS 1 Thirty years ago, the Oxford University Press published a book by the economist and philosopher Amartya Sen that would have an impact on the issue of hunger as strongly as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle had on the issue of labor. Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, brought world hunger to the forefront of world crisis, and took much from Sen’s own upbringing. While Sen was a product of Empire, an Indian who had spent most of his life at the best English universities. as a youth he had lived in Dhaka in the forties, a period that saw the worst famine of the century, one that killed three million people.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, social intelligence, 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: 825 words: 228,141

MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins

3D printing, active measures, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, bitcoin, buy and hold, clean water, cloud computing, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Dean Kamen, declining real wages, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, estate planning, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, fixed income, forensic accounting, high net worth, index fund, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Lao Tzu, London Interbank Offered Rate, market bubble, money market fund, mortgage debt, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, optical character recognition, Own Your Own Home, passive investing, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, riskless arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, telerobotics, the rule of 72, thinkpad, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, World Values Survey, X Prize, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game

Myth 4 will help us quickly determine if the person on the other side of the desk is working for you or the name on their company’s letterhead. As “Deep Throat” from the Watergate scandal said: “Follow the money. Always follow the money.” CHAPTER 2.4 MYTH 4: “I’M YOUR BROKER, AND I’M HERE TO HELP” * * * “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” —UPTON SINCLAIR LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT So let us recap: The mutual funds sold to me are charging me astronomical fees that could strip me of up to 70% of my future nest egg. Over any sustained period of time, 96% of actively managed mutual funds are underperforming the market (or their benchmarks). I am being charged 10 to 30 times what it would cost me to own a low-cost index fund and “become,” or mimic, the market.


pages: 936 words: 252,313

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

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, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, selection bias, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, 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: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

The carnage was reduced when an 1893 law mandated the use of air brakes and automatic couplers in all freight trains, the first federal law intended to improve workplace safety. The safeguards spread to other occupations in the early decades of the 20th century, the Progressive Era. They were the result of agitation by reformers, labor unions, and muckraking journalists and novelists like Upton Sinclair.62 The most effective reform was a simple change in the law brought over from Europe: employers’ liability and workmen’s compensation. Previously, injured workers or their survivors had to sue for compensation, usually unsuccessfully. Now, employers were required to compensate them at a fixed rate. The change appealed to management as much as to workers, since it made their costs more predictable and the workers more cooperative.


Coastal California by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, airport security, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Mason jar, McMansion, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Wozniak, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, white picket fence, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

A major share of California’s agricultural land was consolidated in the hands of a few city-based landlords, establishing the still-existing pattern of industrial ‘agribusiness’ rather than small family farms, and solidifying an ongoing need for large-scale irrigation projects and cheap migrant farm labor. LABOR & MILITARY MIGHT The Academy Award-winning 2007 film There Will Be Blood is adapted from Upton Sinclair’s book Oil!, about fictional California oil magnate Daniel Plainview, whose story is based on real-life SoCal tycoon Edward Doheny. The Great Depression saw another wave of immigrants, this time of American farm families from drought-struck Great Plains states who were fleeing the Dust Bowl. In the promised land of California, they often found social discrimination against ‘Okies’ and only scant pay and deplorable working conditions at agribusinesses.


pages: 768 words: 291,079

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

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, Nelson Mandela, 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.


Coastal California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, flex fuel, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, intermodal, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, Lyft, Mason jar, New Journalism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, starchitect, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

He explored the lives and struggles of diverse California communities: Mexican American WWI vets adjusting to civilian life in Tortilla Flat, flat-broke wharf characters attempting to throw a party on Cannery Row, and migrant farm workers just trying to survive the Great Depression in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Grapes of Wrath. Acclaimed social realist Eugene O’Neill took his 1936 Nobel Prize money and transplanted himself near San Francisco, where he wrote the autobiographical play Long Day’s Journey into Night. Novelists took on the myth of California's self-made millionaires, exposing the tarnish on the Gold State. Classics in this vein include Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, exposing the schemes of real-life LA oil-tycoon Edward Mahoney that resulted in the Teapot Dome bribery scandal. Aldous Huxley’s After Many a Summer is based on the life of publisher William Randolph Hearst, the reclusive and vengeful media mogul who also inspired the Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane. When F Scott Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood to write scripts, he found the inspiration for his final novel, The Last Tycoon, the story of a 1930s movie producer slowly working himself to death.


Northern California Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

Airbnb, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, housing crisis, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, McMansion, means of production, Port of Oakland, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the built environment, trade route, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Good times to visit are during the holiday explosion that is the Santa Lucia Festival (first Saturday of December) and the Swedish Festival (parades, maypole dancing and a real smorgasbord) in May. The Chamber of Commerce keeps a calendar. Bakersfield Nearing Bakersfield, the landscape has evidence of California’s other gold rush: rusting rigs alongside the route burrow into Southern California’s vast oil fields. Black gold was discovered here in the late 1800s, and Kern County, the southernmost along Hwy 99, still pumps more than some OPEC countries. This is the setting of Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, which was adapted into the 2007 Academy Award–winning film, There Will Be Blood. In the 1930s the oil attracted a stream of ‘Okies’ – farmers who migrated out of the Great Plains – to work the derricks. The children of these tough-as-nails roughnecks put the 'western' in country and western by creating the ‘Bakersfield Sound’ in the mid-1950s, with heroes Buck Owens and Merle Haggard waving a defiant middle finger at the silky Nashville establishment.


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, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Kickstarter, 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.


California by Sara Benson

airport security, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, buy and hold, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, Columbine, dark matter, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Joan Didion, Khyber Pass, Loma Prieta earthquake, low cost airline, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, planetary scale, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, the new new thing, trade route, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Wall-E, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Only a few dozen Californios were literate in the entire state, so boundary disputes that arose were typically settled with muscle, not paper. By law, half the lands were supposed to go to Native Americans who worked at the missions, but few Native mission workers actually received their entitlements. The average rancho soon expanded to 16,000 acres in size, and was staffed by 20 to 200 of the same Native laborers who had worked at the missions. * * * The Oscar-winning There Will Be Blood (2007), adapted from Upton Sinclair’s book Oil!, depicts a Californian oil magnate and was based on real-life SoCal tycoon Edward Doheny. * * * Ranchero life was transformed from hardscrabble living on leather cots in cramped two-room shanties to grand fiestas in haciendas where women were confined to quarters at night. But ranchera women were no hothouse flowers: women owned 13% of Californian ranches, rode horses as deftly as men, and despite elaborate precautions, caused romantic scandals worthy of telenovelas (soap operas).


pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

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

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, Charles Lindbergh, 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, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, 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.


Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, affirmative action, airline deregulation, Alistair Cooke, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, death of newspapers, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, energy security, equal pay for equal work, facts on the ground, feminist movement, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, land reform, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, oil shock, open borders, Potemkin village, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, traveling salesman, unemployed young men, union organizing, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, wages for housework, walking around money, War on Poverty, white flight, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

How often, Magnuson followed up, before they’d received his recent letter warning them of impending congressional action? “Ten years,” the lobbyist admitted. The amendments passed the committee unanimously, then both houses, virtually unchanged. President Johnson signed the bill with Magnuson by his side. The following day he signed the first update to meat inspection law since the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, with Upton Sinclair, the novelist whose 1905 exposé The Jungle had inspired it, standing next to him. A landmark “truth in lending” bill went to conference six weeks later. The former senator Paul Douglas, a New Deal economist who had lost his seat in 1966 largely because white Chicago factory workers turned their back on him because of his advocacy for a failed bill outlawing housing discrimination, had been pressing for it since the 1950s, but was defeated in the Finance Committee session after session.