Benjamin Powell (Suffolk) and Matt Zwolinski (USD): The Ethical and Economic Case Against Sweatshop Labor: A Critical Assessment. Andrew W. Lo (MIT): Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review. In a book devoted to economic anxieties in France, two economists well known in the blogosphere try to make their field accessible while conveying its complexity. Capitalism in historical perspective: It is not capitalism that has come to an end but a mode of politics that seeks to guarantee market stability, argues economic historian Werner Plumpe. A review of Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey. The invisible hand meets the invisible gorilla: Diane Coyle on the economics and psychology of scarce attention. IMF chief economist Oliver Blanchard draws the lessons from 2011’s economic and policy developments. Kenneth Rogoff on rethinking the growth imperative. If you are a banker what you want is risky, high interest rate loans without the risk; sooner or later it follows that what the bankers need to do above all else is to elevate financial contracts above democracy.

A new issue of United Academics Magazine is out. J. David Velleman (NYU): Life Absurd? Don't Be Ridiculous. New Dominionists: Meet the Christian couple behind the Right’s most viral videos. Soft porn, hardening hearts: Jonathan Tayler on a magazine’s private story. From The Washington Diplomat, academic Tyler Cowen livens up economics with The Great Stagnation; and Argentina 2001 vs. Greece 2011:
 Patrick Corcoran on the parallels and pitfalls of comparison. Blank-of-the-Month Clubs: Jill Harness on 16 offbeat subscription services. The Best Predictions of 2011: Drawing from a variety of sources throughout the past year, the editors of The Futurist take a look at some of the best predictions for the world’s future. Modernity and its Discontents: Morten Hoi Jensen reviews George Scialabba’s The Modern Predicament. If it weren’t for Newt’s dreadful neocon policies, he would have self-declared misogynist Brandon Adamson’s vote hands down. Can anyone explain why this fool is allowed to ruin this blog? Mad Otto Rossler continues to take up space on the Lifeboat blog.

From TED, Paul Romer on the world's first charter city; and Geoffrey West on the surprising math of cities and corporations. Global cities: Andrew Robsinson on the rise and rise of capitalism’s behemoths (and part 2). The rise of the megacity: Jakarta, Lagos, and Sao Paolo, and other massive population centers are changing the way we think about cities. An interview with Austin Williams, author of The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs. The city solution: Robert Kunzig on why cities are the best cure for our planet’s growing pains. "Cities are making us more human": An interview with Edward Glaeser. The evolution of great world cities: Christopher Kennedy explores the urban wealth and economic growth of great cities. A review of Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City by Andrew Ross (and more). Brahmin Dreams: Douglass Shand-Tucci is in search of the capital of the world. From Cracked, a look at the 6 most mind-blowing modern ghost towns; and an article on the 6 weirdest cities people actually live in.