Are Virtual Marketplaces Real? Does It Matter?

Over the past 20 years, give or take, virtual worlds have risen from the pages of science fiction and fantasy to a multi-billion-dollar industry that has slowly but surely become a large part of the lives of millions of people. Where they were once curiosities, they are now mainstays. Or at the very least, approaching […]

Retail Behavioral Economics

Agencies have been applying behavioral economics, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not, for years. But as a formalized discipline, behavioral economics is a relatively new school of thought at the intersection of economics and psychology (when compared against economics as a whole).  At its core is a simple principle: human beings are predictably irrational. The discipline has […]

The Grab for Power

The other day Warren Buffett wrote “OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.”  The rest of the NY Times Op-Ed piece goes on to explain why he and […]

Gold Standard Wisdom: Let’s Go Back to Flint Knives, Too.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the gold standard lately from Tea Party loyalists and those pandering to them.  Specific elements of their philosophy and social agenda have become talking points and gained legitimacy that 10 years ago would not have been there.  Is it because the ideas have legitimacy or because people are desperate?  […]

Class Structure and Economic Growth

Class is a controversial issue in the United States, having many competing definitions, models, and even disagreements over its very existence.  It is something we simply do not want to address, preferring to limit the discussion to the myth of meritocracy and the American Dream.  But the truth is that it exists and with each […]

The Decline of a Civilization

Civilization in decline is a very real thing. Civilizations rise and fall in their world standing, power shifts, the strength of nations ebb and wane as time passes. Moral and ethical decay accompany the slow collapse of nation states and this phenomenon is something the far Right has been harping on for years.  Unfortunately, the […]