According to the classic rock radio station I was listening to in the car this morning, DON'T DRIVE INTO NEW YORK CITY TODAY, oh yes, OCCUPY WALL STREET WILL BE DESTROYING MANHATTAN. If only!
That being said, Occupy and friends have a nice calendar of events for the day.
• 11 a.m. "Free University" in Cooper Square, outside the sad, sad hulk of Cooper Union, which was recently destroyed by capitalism.
• 1 p.m. "Anti-capitalist march" from Tompkins Square Park (of course).
• 4 p.m. Rally in Union Square. (This event has permits.)
• 7 p.m. A people's assembly in Foley Square.
There's much, much more going [...]
Here is the problem in a nutshell with the "idea fellows" of our time: consider this lengthy analysis of Whole Foods as a customer-centric institution, as a perfect example of "customer capitalism." (Not a terrifically good coinage, but hey, you pump out what you can while you're working on your TED talk.) Nowhere in this treatise does the fact appear that, um, one way Whole Foods interacts with capitalism and customers is that, while some prices make a lot of sense, SOME OTHER PRICES AT WHOLE FOODS ARE LITERALLY AS MUCH AS DOUBLE WHAT THEY ARE ELSEWHERE. And other prices are easily 30% to 50% more, for the [...]
As an Amazon affiliate, we get a wee percentage of sales from people who click through from our site to Amazon. But better than that, we get a report from Amazon about what people have purchased! (Don't worry, it's all anonymous: there's no information at all passed on about the purchaser's identity.) One thing we can guarantee: you people buy things online. Here are just a few excerpts from the year 2011, here with quantity, title, media and cost.
1 Chupacabra (HD), Amazon Instant Video, $2.84
2 "Top Chef: Don't Be Tardy for the Dinner Party," Instant Video, $1.89
1 Buffalo by David Bitton Men's Bridle Strap Belt [...]
Daniel Henninger'sWall Street Journal op-ed column today is mind-boggling. He comes out hard, so it's easy to summarize: "It needs to be said. The rescue of the Chilean miners is a smashing victory for free-market capitalism." His point is that the drill and the drill rig used for the miner rescue were developed by two smallish companies, right here in America. Other bits of technology were also created by companies! The free market innovates! Companies make things! So capitalism saved miners. Pretty much everything about this column is utterly undone by the facts.
It has been brought to our attention that there is another publication called The Awl! Unfortunately, it seems to have ceased publication sometime in the mid to late 1840s, even though it was only first published in 1843. Documented in Norman Ware's fantastic The Industrial Worker, 1840-1860: the reaction of American industrial society to the advance of the industrial revolution, which was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1924. This bit of history was brought to our attention by the widely-read Aaaron Swartz, praise his name. Let's do some reading!
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, "events have followed Marx's closer predictions almost uncannily: globalisation, privatisation, deregulation, the undermining of democracy, the triumph of a capitalist discourse (railway 'customers' rather than 'passengers'), the decline of socialist ideology, and a succession of capitalist crises, each worse than the last – but none of them as yet showing any sign of being the last. Come back Karl; all is forgiven. You were right. (Up to 'the revolution', that is.)"
At least 180 people were laid off today at Conde Nast, the magazine company with $3.5 billion in revenue last year. More will be laid off as the Christmas season grinds its way towards us. At the height of Tina Brown era, the New Yorker's editorial budget was $30 million a year. If that astounding number were still true, which it certainly is not still that monster, and every magazine there were as insanely expensive, which they are not, then it would cost $510 million a year for editorial on 17 magazines. Triple that (an excessive estimate!) to pay for the business side: congratulations, you are still making [...]