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Weekly Roundup: October 13, 2023


At the Blog

On Monday, Amanda Parsons and Salomé Viljoen argued there is a conceptual mismatch between the strategies of accumulation that are dominant in the digital economy and the basic assumptions that underlie the legal regimes tasked with regulating accumulation. To begin to address this discrepancy, legal actors in these regimes need a better understanding of how companies translate social data into profits and power. For instance, with respect to tax law, they argue that “understanding the role of social data as a driving force in economic accumulation lends more force to arguments made by proponents of digital services taxes that digital companies should be paying taxes in their users’ home countries. Additionally, recognizing that the business models of informational capitalism often focus on growth over income supports a renewed focus in tax law on how to effectively and equitably tax the wealth being built in the digital economy, rather than merely taxing income.”

On Tuesday, Luke Herrine answered the call of law students everywhere and put together an LPE Explainer post on perhaps the most confusing concept in legal discourse: efficiency. Add it to your syllabi, send it to your students! In it, he covers the various meanings of efficiency, as well as how legal scholars frequently shift between these meanings. That lack of clarity, he writes, “can inhibit students from challenging certain claims. To ask ‘but what do you mean by efficiency?’ can make one appear unsophisticated or pedantic. But that’s precisely the question we should be asking. Because there are good reasons to reject the notions of ‘efficiency’ usually taught in 1L classes, even if—in fact, precisely because—we have good reasons to value other forms of efficiency.”

In LPE Land

Spread the word—it’s our first Happy Hour for the broader New Haven community! Join us on the back patio at 116 Crown on October 25th from 5-7 to mingle with the New Haven-wide LPE community.

Over at the Outrage Overload podcast, Sanjay Jolly discussed C. Edwin Baker: his intellectual legacy, the structural order of the public sphere, and requirements for democratic self-determination. For more on the subject, check out Sanjay’s earlier Blog post.

In The American Prospect, Claire Kelloway and Maureen Tkacik describe how Kroger and Albertsons are trying to mask the stench of their proposed mega merger by offering to sell 400+ stores to a third party, and explain why this is still a rotten deal for consumers.

This week witnessed the first signs that the fire Sam Moyn started at the Blog last month is beginning to spread: over at Legal Form, Rob Hunter argues for the distinctiveness of the critique of political economy from left-liberal political economy.