David Benjamin is a Brooklyn-based journalist and novelist who writes  on technology issues, usually from the Luddite point of view.

‘Market Forces’ Can’t & Won’t Protect Public Interest

Among common arguments against almost any form of business regulation is that government shouldn't intrude in areas where “market forces” will more efficiently accomplish the same regulation. Among the cases that most obviously contradicts this laissez-faire belief in the self-regulating market is the shameful record of Big Tobacco. For generations, covering hundreds of thousands of…

The Politics of Business Responsibility

With the possible election in November of Mitt Romney as America's first “businessman-president” since Herbert Hoover in 1928, we're forced to ask a philosophical question that comes around regularly on the guitar: Beyond its imperative to make profits, does business have any moral responsibility to society? Republicans, our traditional zealots for unregulated capitalism, usually inject…

Banking Gloom

PARIS — They say the euro is coming apart at the seams. This, however, was not evident this morning when, with my wife, Hotlips, I made the involuntary rounds of several bank branches in this European capital. All we wanted was to deposit a few non-euros into our Paris euro account. We entered the neighborhood…

Why Manufacturing Matters

When EE Times' Junko Yoshida recently reported that Japanese consumer electronics companies will be scaling back their production of TV sets, shipping most or all of the manufacturing work offshore, I found myself waxing nostalgic. I harkened back to my college days in Beloit, Wis. To stay in school, I was working three part-time jobs.…