Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang talks about some of the "myths of neoliberal capitalism." "(F)ree enterprise for the poor and socialism for the rich" you've heard before, but it's still true, and when your relatives call CEOs "risk-takers," Mr. Chang reminds us that they make millions of dollars even if they crash and burn their company. When he says "austerity is a very good way of pushing through a regressive political agenda without appearing to do so," you may recall Gov. Walker going on Fox News in 2011 to claim he was trying to destroy public worker unions because "we're broke." Mr. Chang also fears that any infrastructure spending President Trump approves will be just another bubble -- probably a real-estate bubble, since that's what he understands best, and that doesn't even mean it'll be like last decade's housing bubble, but simply that infrastructure projects will (like New York City's Second Avenue Line, as Michael Hudson described last month) benefit landlords more than regular folks.
Mark Paul explains at Naked Capitalism "Why the Dakota Access Pipeline Doesn't Make Economic Sense." I mean, sure, the pipeline will create around 50 jobs (no, not 50,000, fifty total), and perhaps bring tens of millions annually to a handful of states, and of course will help make some CEO rich somewhere, but the pipeline would also impose (in Mr. Paul's estimation) at least a $4.6 billion cost annually, because the problems associated with pollution -- not just the health problems from burning all that fossil fuel, but the inevitable remediations once our leaders get serious about dealing with climate change -- all cost money to fix. Right-wingers constantly whine about "cost-benefit analysis" and never count, for example, the cost of providing more health care to people who breathe in or drink all that poison (a cost the Clean Air Act has reduced by at least $12 trillion as of 2012). In short, the pipeline would "socializ(e) costs associated with pollution — and not counting them — while privatizing profits from the pipelines."
Adam Johnson at FAIR reminds us that, repugnant as Mr. Trump's Muslim ban is, "Corporate Media Paved the Way" for it over the last few decades. Two of Mr. Johnson's three factors relate fairly directly to each other -- the "liberal" media's drumbeat of ISIS coverage certainly feeds into said media's propensity to view terrorism as an "existential threat" perpetrated almost entirely by Muslims -- but, yes, it sure would help if the media would describe non-Muslim terrorism (Alexandre Bisonnette, Dylann Roof, Robert Dear, oh hell Timothy McVeigh) as terrorism (and not "domestic terrorism," either -- you'd have to ask why that would deserve its own category). I'm not sure the war on terror's atheist fellow-travelers (of whom Christopher Hitchens was also one) have had the effect Mr. Johnson supposes, since I don't presume even very many atheists listen much to Messrs. Maher, Harris, and Dawkins. But when the "liberal" media give wall-to-wall coverage of things ISIS might do, they're doing ISIS' work for them. And you'll find more fake news there than in a hundred "Russian propaganda sites."
Finally, Clive Thompson at WIRED calls coding "the new blue-collar job." I agree that we should demystify computer programming a lot more than we do, and not merely because it's so much more everywhere now, but if you've attended Democrat economic dogma over the past few decades, you'll find, sadly, that Mr. Thompson's point jibes too well with it: "New" Democrats have been proclaiming for-freaking-ever now that workers simply have to adjust to the times, rather than try to bend the times a little more to their own will (which is certainly their right!), and trying to make everyone into a programmer won't actually make things better, because traditional blue-collar work and programming utilize vastly different skill sets. I mean, I generally believe the best about people, and I believe they're plenty adaptable, but I try not to let my optimism lead me into having unrealistic expectations. Training, say, factory workers to do solar installations sounds a lot more realistic to me than training them to write code -- but since that wouldn't please the politicians' big donors, we don't hear about it as often.