Academic Blogs Wiki

by Henry on April 16, 2012

A public service announcement – the Academic Blogs wiki that I used to run under “academicblogs.org”:http://academicblogs.org is now up again, under new management at the “Center for History and New Media”:http://chnm.gmu.edu/. Many thanks to Dan Cohen and Ammon Shepherd for taking it on. I had been running it on a version of Mediawiki which was not (to put it mildly) optimized for anti-spam, with the result that I had to spend a few hours each week cleaning out the garbage. The transition to a new, more robust system has taken a little bit of time, but it is now up and running again. XKCD has a cartoon this morning on the relative decline of the blogosphere. However, as best as I can tell from personal browsing, academic blogs appear to be relatively robust. It’s a lot harder than it was nine years ago to create an academic blog that can attract substantial public attention, but if you’re primarily interested in talking to other academics and a few interested bystanders, it’s still relatively easy. Academic blogs, unlike e.g. tech blogs or some political opinion blogs, don’t usually have sufficient potential audience to become commercially viable. But most academics are used to talking to smaller audiences, and as long as blogging technology is cheap or free, there will be some people at least who’ll be interested in doing it.

!http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/ablogalypse.png!

Remembering Jerry Cohen

by Chris Bertram on April 16, 2012

Via Martin O’Neill on FB, I see that reminiscences of Jerry Cohen by Philippe Van Parijs, John Roemer, Myles Burnyeat, Gideon Cohen and Tim Scanlon are now online (pdf). Enjoy.

The coming boom in inherited wealth

by John Quiggin on April 16, 2012

As everyone who has been paying attention knows, the news on inequality is nearly all bad. Not only has inequality increased dramatically in the US, but intergenerational economic mobility is declining[1]. And, where the US leads, the rest of the world looks likely to follow. The top 1 per cent lost more than most during the crisis of 2008-09 but, as Stephen Rattner reports here (drawing on work by Piketty and Saez), that was just a blip. A stunning 93 percent of the additional income created in the US in 2010, compared to 2009, went to the top 1 per cent, and there’s no reason to think things were much better in 2011 – average real earnings have fallen yet again, and employment growth, though positive, was still modest. Wealth inequality is also high, though it has not increased as much as income inequality.

The one bright spot mentioned by Rattner is that ” those at the top were more likely to earn than inherit their riches”. Since I’m already noticing that point popping up in the places you might expect to see it (can’t find a link right now), let me point out that Rattner’s explanation, that “the rapid growth of new American industries — from technology to financial services — has increased the need for highly educated and skilled workers” is wrong, and that there is every reason to expect a boom in inherited wealth.

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