Friday, November 24, 2017

Five books on late-stage capitalism

Marie Myung-Ok Lee is a staff writer for The Millions. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Nation, Slate, Salon, Guernica, Poets & Writers, and The Guardian. Her novel is forthcoming with Simon & Schuster (when she finally finishes it). She teaches fiction at Columbia and shares a hometown with Bob Dylan. One of five books on late-stage capitalism she tagged at The Millions:
Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? (2016) by Katrine Marçal

I wrote my undergraduate honors thesis in economics on “Economic Development and Women’s Labor Force Participation,” and concluded that in developed versus under-developed countries, the end game was the same: women did most of the work, including the never-off labor that does not get counted in traditional economic measures. Additionally, the financial penalties of this unpaid work (family stress, “mommy track” drag on careers, unequal pay due to gender discrimination, etc.), don’t factor into our economic world view because the variables that are “important” in economic models have been mostly decided by men. Marçal does a brilliant job making economics accessible and shows the egregious mistake of excluding women from basic economic market principles, and how this invisibility reinforces inequality.
Read about the other titles on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue