Thursday Afternoon Links

Things we liked:

Our own Matt Bruenig has been a big proponent of a Universal Basic Income, so we were happy to learn that the first ever experiment, in 1795, when swimmingly. Frances Coppola explains on Pieria how Speenhamland, England instituted what was essentially a basic income and the watched poverty, riots and malnutrition plummet. Sadly, the economists and moralizers, who believed the unemployment to be morally deficient eventually got the law repealed and forced the unemployed into workhouses.

Why does the working class vote against its interests? Robert Reich argues on his blog that workers are worried about unemployment, so they’re willing to skimp on regulation in the hopes that companies will bring more jobs. Sadly, cutting regulation doesn’t create jobs.

Occupy the S.E.C. and the Volcker rule, from Simon Johnson at the New York Times

Hearing the stories of the long-term unemployed, from Bryce Covert at ThinkProgress

These 40 charts that explain the world, from Dylan Matthew at Wonkblog

The richest 300 billionaires have 600,000 times more economic power of the rest of us, and why it matters, from Brad Delong at the Center for Equitable Growth

Things we didn’t like:

How many studies do you have to cite to argue the minimum wage kills jobs? None, if you’re Brian Brenberg writing for CNBC. Brenberg claims that, “The problem is that the money has to come from somewhere, and when employers are forced to pay more than the labor is worth — when the contribution of the worker doesn't match the cost to employ him — employers simply won't offer the job.” He doesn’t back it up though. That’s because the literature is strongly against him. The minimum wage would create jobs and reduce poverty. Also, lots of economists support it.

Walmart illegally firing workers, reports Josh Eidelson at Salon

The fact that ending UI benefits is hurting economic confidence, according to Lydia dePillis at Wonkblog

Bonus: Monty Python explains why the Democracy and Elections fellows are so important.