February has been punctuated by record shattering profit announcement, and its becoming increasingly obvious corporations are using emergencies — such as the pandemic, supply chain disruption, or gas shortages — as an excuse to raise gains.
Analysts are only just beginning to lay out the pattern, but in case you were wondering why stuff like peanut butter and cola got so expensive: it’s because big corporations are hiking prices by double-digit figures and making record profits, not because people are buying too much of it.
To those who actually buy stuff this may not seem like a groundbreaking insight, and yet for the past nine months, the European Central Bank (ECB), responsible for keeping prices level, has increased interest rates, making it even harder for people to buy things, while letting corporate profits — the main driver of inflation — off the hook.
This puts further pressure on disposable income, which despite massive government support schemes — estimated at €800bn in 2022 alone — fell by 2.9 percent last year; 6.9 percent in Greece and 3.1 percent in Germany, where it fell for the third year in a row.
The question is, why? Why do we suppress wages while letting let profits rip? To put it in historical perspective: in the 1970s, nearly 70 percent of economic output went to employees, with just over 20 percent going to profits. Now, labour’s share stands at 56 percent with a third going to profits.
During testimony at a Thursday hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Assistant Professor of China Studies and Political Science Tyler Jost addressed tensions between the U.S. and China.
Speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Tyler Jost called on federal leaders to stay focused on maintaining an uneasy status quo in Taiwan.
Violence against land and environmental activists has increased dramatically in recent years, with countries in Latin America registering by far the highest number of deaths. What are the causes of this violence and what can be done to prevent it? In this study, we propose to systematically explore the political determinants of environment-related violence and identify potentially promising interventions to mitigate it. We focus on the Amazon, which accounts for half of the remaining tropical forest on the planet. The project consists of two components. First, we propose to build a quantitative dataset of killings of environmental activists (including, e.g., indigenous leaders and community representatives involved in environmental protection initiatives) in Brazil over the past twenty years using reports from NGOs and other sources. Second, we will complement our quantitative data with qualitative interviews with local communities and environmental defenders to better understand the variety of threats they face, and to identify factors that might help explain variation in the timing and intensity of those threats. We will also explore the possibility of running a rigorous impact evaluation (e.g. a randomized controlled trial) to evaluate interventions aimed at reducing environment-related violence. The Amazon has a major influence on the world’s climate and hydrological cycles; as such, preserving it and the people who protect it is key in the fight against climate change. This project will advance Brown’s ongoing commitment to support sustainability research and interventions to combat environmental degradation in one of the world’s most environmentally precarious regions.
In her essay, Jenna Bednar makes a powerful case and sets out a persuasive framework for refocusing public policy away from the market toward “human flourishing.” In this response, I build on one of the pillars of her framework—community—to showcase its potential to promote human flourishing at scale. I show how communities can promote human flourishing not just locally, but also at the national level. And yet, a focus on the progressive power of nationalism at once also cautions against the dangers inherent in the concept of community itself: that is, that all communities are necessarily bounded and unequal. In laying bare the exclusion and violence that communities can inflict on those beyond their boundaries, and/or down the ladder of “prototypicality,” nationalism is a dark, stark reminder for all communities, including at the local level, to be consistently vigilant to both their boundaries and gradations of belonging. The task that Bednar emphasizes of building mutuality and trust within communities must proceed apace with a commitment to both expanding and building healthy relations with those beyond their boundaries, and ensuring the web of solidarity encompasses all equally within the community.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine brought with it the specter of nuclear conflict—and that was not by chance. Drawing on their longer article in International Security, Reid Pauly and Rose McDermott of Brown University argue that states have many reasons to engage in nuclear brinkmanship. However, Pauly and McDermott warn that things can easily get out of control and that individual and small group psychology, not cold reason, may prove most important during crises.