Video: John Paul Stevens on BookTV, 56 min, last broadcast on September 1, 2014
Justice John Paul Stevens was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010. He was appointed by President Gerald Ford and was the second longest-service justice in the Court’s history, after Justice William Douglas, whom he replaced.to watch the 56-minute interview with John Paul Stevens last broadcast on September 1, 2014, click on
After Words: Justice John Paul Stevens, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” hosted by Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center
The recently-retired Supreme Court Justice, long considered among the liberal members of the Court, recommends six ways he believes the U.S. Constitution should be amended. His largest targets for reform are campaign finance, the death penalty, gerrymandering and the Second Amendment. He talks with Jeffrey Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center.
to hear Thomas Piketty’s 1-hour 2014 presentation on inequality of incomes and assets, click on
Free Trade Agreement TTIP Endangers Democracy
Investor courts of arbitration create an exclusive special right for foreign corporations. They could demand unlimited compensation when they see profits narrowed by democratic decisions. The lawsuits will be decided by economic lawyers changing roles as prosecutors, defendants and judges, not by independent courts.
Stopping the TTIP is crucial for preserving sovereignty, environmental justice and public sector jobs. Investor protection must not be allowed to trump environmental and labor regulations in a “parallel system” of justice.
You can read a 20-page “Alternative Trade Mandate” at www.alternativetrademandate.org.
to read the translated articles by Christoph Bautz, Ursula Storost and Annette Sawatzki from August 2014, click on
I Spend, Therefore I Am by Edward Skidelsky
to read Edward Skidelsky’s review of Philip Roscoe’s book published January 21, 2014 in The Guardian, click on
I Spend, Therefore I Am is a splendid denunciation of the dismal science in the grand tradition of Dickens and Carlyle. Not only does economics embody a false image of man, claims Philip Roscoe; it remakes him according to that false image. It “brings into being the agent about whom it theorises: self-interested, calculative and even dishonest”. It has recast each of us as an “entrepreneur of the self”…
Two mechanisms are central to Roscoe’s account. The first is the incentive. Economists treat all human behaviour as responsive to monetary costs and benefits. “The typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he cannot fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme,” write Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, authors of the bestselling Freakonomics. Roscoe agrees and argues that incentives have been disastrously influential, not least in justifying bankers’ bonuses. The trouble with monetary incentives is not that they don’t work – often they do, at least in the short term – but that they “crowd out” other, nobler sources of motivation: professional pride, institutional loyalty and public spirit. They bring into being the kind of person they presuppose, shrewd and mercenary. As popular wisdom has always known, if you treat people like knaves they will behave like knaves.
The other villain of Roscoe’s story is measurement. Scoring systems now exist for everything under the sun, including quality of life, intellectual achievement, sex appeal and other such intangibles. Embedded in governmental and corporate software, these systems shape the very conduct they claim to measure.
more at www.nextnewdeal.net, www.foreffectivegov.org, www.freembtranslations.net, www.onthecommons.org, www.worklessparty.org, www.storyofstuff.com, www.progressive-economics.ca and www.therealnews.com
The time is right for alternative economics after the “money-out-of-nothing” phase. The financial markets must be shrivelled and the public sectors expanded. Profit-making is different than profit-maximizing. Economics as now taught is like brainwashing (cf. Christoph Thielemann). The neoliberal model is increasing profit, not investment (Nikolaus Krowell).
to read Christoph Keller’s 38-page Bachelor’s thesis “The Unconditional basic income – a social concept for Europe” at the University of Southern Denmark, May 23, 2011, click on
The social budgets in Western societies are exploding due to demographic changes and the interrelated pension entitlements. In addition to that, the social divide between rich and poor widens with increasing structural unemployment. The writing is on the wall, society needs nothing less than a new social contract. This paper questions whether an unconditional basic income fulfills the egalitarian aspirations of European nations and contributes to social justice and unity. On the basis of egalitarianism and social capital theory, the concept of an unconditional basic income is assessed against the backdrop of empirical European examples of the contemporary social division. It is concluded that a basic income scheme can serve as a tool, to significantly increase equality and social justice in society. The resultant detachment of income and employment certainly changes the inherited ways of reasoning. Preferably sooner than later, the ‘old’ thinking will need to be overcome, in order for societies and budgets to benefit.
more at www.nextnewdeal.net, www.foreffectivegov.org, www.onthecommons.org, www.therealnews.com, www.storyofstuff.com and www.worklessparty.org
Pia Eberhardt e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The TTIP Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (sometimes called TAFTA) is an anti-democratic corporate investment agreement that allows corporations to sue sovereign states for loss of expected profits. This free trade agreement negotiated in secret since 2013 does not allow states to sue corporations and decisions or awards are irreversible.
Fracking moratoriums, education, health care, Germany’s nuclear exit, minimum wage, chlorinated chicken, hormone-treated beef, genetic corn, the public sector in general and culture are potentially threatened by investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) in private arbitration courts. The EU Commission and Germany in particular have suspended negotiations on investor protection and called a public consultation. Environmentalists, labor and social movements throughout Europe urge scrapping the TTIP/CETA/ TISA negotiations.
You can download a 20-page Alternative Trade Mandate (December 2013) from 50 NGOs at www.alternativetrademandate.org.
to read the 28-page study “Who Cares? A Feminist Critique of the Care Economy” published in August 2014 by the Rosa Luxemburg foundation, click on
We live in an increasingly uncaring world. Patriarchal capitalism offers rich financial rewards to those who pursue their individual self-interest and penalizes those committed to the care of others. Competition is more highly valued than cooperation, and individual rights trump social obligation. Family and community life are treated as leisure activities, largely reserved for official holidays. Yet the word “care” plays an increasingly important role in our cultural vocabulary, perhaps because promises to attend to the personal needs of others have become less plentiful and therefore more precious.
more at www.nextnewdeal.net, www.foreffectivegov.org, www.steadystate.org, www.worklessparty.org, www.therealnews.com and www.storyofstuff.com
The TTIP. the largest free trade zone comprising 800 million of the EU and the US, is being secretly negotiated. Democracy and the constitutional state are threatened by 3-person arbitration courts where corporations can sue states and decisions are irreversible. A parallel system of adjudication is created that favors foreign investors and endangers social and environmental regulations.
IG Metal, Verdi service union and C Butterwegge comment.
more at www.alternativetrademandate.org, www.citizen.org, www.therealnews.com, and www.onthecommons.org
We face the continuing dissolution of traditional types, forms and rules, not a new type, a new form or a new rule… What was once called estrangement or objectification should appear as workers’ own interest. Corresponding to the market has to be our elementary need. We have to follow it like a train of capitalist lemmings. Flexibility has nothing to do with individual sovereignty. Rather it means being completely handed over to the outward demands. The flexibility of people is nothing but the dictation of the markets. The flexibilized are trained along economic needs and do not direct themselves. Submitting to the so-called practicall necessities is vital.
Karl Polanyi spoke of a dis-embedded economy… A tendency to barbarism and violence is inherent in a completely capitalized and economized world… We need an economy that orients its practice by natural realities and criteria of material needs and ecological compatibility and no longer acts according to money-categories… Imagining a world beyond commodities and money and doing our utmost practically for its realization become increasingly urgent. Intellectual courage is the prerequisite.
to read the articles by Franz Schadl and Gotz Eisenberg (“The Victory of the Economy over Life”) translated from the German, click on
Resistance is part of our nature as antibodies are part of our bodies.
Economics should be pluralist, not monolithic as the economy should be part of life, not a steamroller crushing self-determination and creativity.
to watch “Occupy Love” (2013), click on
www.nextnewdeal.net, www.foreffectivegov.org, www.worklessparty.org, www.storyofstuff.com and