Planned Inequality

Episode 72 – Recorded May 13, 2011, at the 53rd Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner in Chicago.

Ralph Martire
Ralph Martire

Our featured speaker for that evening was Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago. In this presentation, Martire contends the wreckage of our public institutions, our soaring private and public debt, our stagnating economy, the growing stench of racism in our politics: These are the natural outcome of an intentional, decades-long policy of massively redistributing wealth to those who were already very very wealthy.

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Music by Brandon Payton-Carrillo.

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FIRE: From Boom to Bust in Chicago

Recorded July, 2016. That’s Finance Insurance Real Estate, the sector of the economy that many observers assert dominates the politics of many cities. Does demand and supply accurately describe how commercial real estate markets function? How are development decisions made? Can you tell whether you’re in a boom or is it a bubble? Chicago DSA’s Bill Barclay interviews Professor Rachel Weber about the political economy of urban development and about her new book, From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago.

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Rachel Weber is a Professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department and a Faculty Fellow at the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she teaches courses and conducts research in the fields of economic development, urban policy, and public finance. She is the author of Swords into Dow Shares: Governing the Decline of the Military Industrial Complex and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning, a compilation of 40 essays by leading urban scholars. Her latest book, From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago, was recently published by the University of Chicago Press. In addition to her academic responsibilities, she has served as an advisor to municipal planning agencies, political candidates, and community organizations on issues related to municipal incentives, property taxes, and neighborhood revitalization. She was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the Tax Increment Financing Reform Task Force in 2011 to provide recommendations to his new administration for reforming this financing tool.


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Episode 60 — The Great Stagnation

Recorded January 9, 2016. Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay, members of the Chicago Political Economy Group, review the political economy of 2015 and speculate on 2016.

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Episode 48 — It’s Still Stagnation

Employment & Recessions
From Chicago Political Economy Group’s November, 2014, Jobs Report

Recorded January 10, 2015 — Chicago DSA members and Chicago Political Economy Group founding members Ron Baiman and Bill Barclay do a review of the 2014 economy and look ahead to 2015.

labor force participation
From St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, labor force participation.

The financial sector may be back, but wages have not grown; there’s no real surge in investment: It’s still stagnation.

Wages and Productivity
Wages and productivity

Is this a permanent condition? Baiman and Barclay look at the work of New School economist Lance Taylor in response to Thomas Piketty that suggests that, unless countered by vigorous public policy or very fortunate circumstances, stagnation may be be our future.

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