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How We Can Use Psychology To Help Fight Climate Change

The following is an excerpt from What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming by Per Espen Stoknes (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015):

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How the Federal Reserve Is Destroying Your Economic Future

When it comes to what goes on in the marble corridors of the Federal Reserve, Americans tend to be suspicious. For different reasons, both the right and the left have challenged Fed policies aimed at bolstering the economy in the wake of the Great Recession. In two papers for the Institute of New Economic Thinking's Working Group on the Political Economy of Distribution, "Have Large Scale Asset Purchases Increased Bank Profits?" and the forthcoming "The Impact of 'Quantitative Easing' on Expected Profits: Explaining the Rise and Fall of the Fed's QE Policy," economist Gerald Epstein and his colleague Juan Antonio Montecino sought to find out who in the economy tends to benefit from the Fed's actions. They conclude that Wall Street and wealthy Americans are the big winners from policies like quantitative easing, while the rest see little improvement in their economic lives. End result? Inequality is getting worse.

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How Globalization Is Making Human Life Miserable

In the naughts, British-born novelist and author Rana Dasgupta was thrilled to call Delhi his home. The city was still buzzing with possibility after India’s 1991 entry into the world of market-driven capitalism. Today, he raises concerns that India’s economic rise has come with massive inequality, environmental destruction and potential social unrest. In Part 2 of an interview with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Dasgupta shares his view of the contradictions and tensions of India’s economic and political scenes. What does it mean that pro-business Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi was elected prime minister in 2014, while Arvind Kejriwal, a firebrand social activist who speaks for the poor, easily won a second term to lead the nation’s capital in Delhi? How does India’s warlike capitalism co-exist with its deeply democratic spirit? What are the biggest challenges for India going forward?

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What Thomas Piketty and Larry Summers Don’t Tell You About Income Inequality

In a  paper  for the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s Working Group on the  Political Economy of Distribution,  economist Lance Taylor and his colleagues examine income inequality using new tools and models that give us a more nuanced — and frightening —picture than we’ve had before. Their simulation models show how so-called reasonable modifications like modest tax increases on the wealthy and boosting low wages are not going to be enough to stem the disproportionate tide of income rushing toward the rich. Taylor’s research challenges the approaches of American policy makers, the assumptions of traditional economists and some of the conclusions drawn by Thomas Piketty and Larry Summers. Bottom line: We’re not yet talking about the kinds of major changes needed to keep us from becoming a Downton Abbey society.

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Corporate America’s 5 Most Despicable and Cowardly Acts of 2014

It’s that time of year, when we look back over the past 12 months to remember America’s most offensive and irresponsible corporate actions against citizens. The field is crowded, ladies and gentlemen, but five companies stand out for achieving new and spectacular heights in making a mockery of decent human values. From the cowardly to the stupid to the dangerous, here are some of the worst of the worst of 2014.

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Everything You Thought You Knew About Personal Finance Is Dead Wrong - Here's the Truth

According to Helaine Olen, the lion's share of financial advice served up by so-called experts is useless -- or worse. In her must-read book Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry, she reveals that to think about money soley in a personal sense causes us to miss the problem. I caught up with Olen to discuss her take on what we're missing, and how to think better and smarter about our financial lives.

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How Huge Companies Like Apple Are Actually Parasites on America's Tech Industry

Few would argue that America’s fortunes rise and fall on its ability to put ideas to work and then bring them to market. William Lazonick, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Matt Hopkins, research associate at the Academic-Industry Research Network, have investigated what has gone wrong in America’s approach to innovation. Lazonick shares findings from two recent papers that are part of the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s project on the Political Economy of Distribution. He explains why successful companies like Apple need to make fundamental changes to the way they allocate resources and stop throwing away America’s most valuable asset for future innovation — you.

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How the Record Numbers of Young People Living With Their Folks Threaten Our Economy

Editor's note: This is part of Lynn Parramore's ongoing AlterNet series on job insecurity and part of the New Economic Dialogue Project.

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Sh*t CEOs Say: 6 Outrageous Statements from America's Big-Mouthed Overlords

The sh*t CEOs say! When the chiefs of giant corporations are not blaming others for their mismanagement and unscrupulous behavior, they’re explaining why their distorted worldviews are best for the 99 percent. They do this, of course, at a time of declining national median income and huge paydays for executives.

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Americans So Broke They Can’t Take Their Kids to Movies This Holiday Season

What’s more American than families on holiday taking in a movie together, munching popcorn as the latest comic book hero saves the day?

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