Mistakes Were Made November 11, 2013
Doctor Hand November 4, 2013
Mistakes Were Made November 11, 2013
Doctor Hand November 4, 2013
Book review: “Slaves of Defunct Economists: Why politicians pursue austerity policies that never work” by Henry Farrel, Washington Monthly, Mar/Apr 2013
to read the book review of Mark Blyth’s “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea,” Oxford University Press, 304 pp, March 2013, visit
“On January 25, the British statistics office announced that the United Kingdom’s economy had shrunk by 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2012. After enduring two recessions in the last four years, Britain is now well on its way into a third. The pain has been compounded by a succession of austerity budgets, in which Britain’s Conservative-led government has tried to hack away at spending. Repeated rounds of cuts have battered the British economy. However, Britain’s chief economic policymaker, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, wants still more pain. He is pushing the government to identify £10 billion more in cuts this year.
This makes no economic sense. Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, has pleaded for Britain to start focusing on growth rather than fiscal virtue, claiming that “we’ve never been passionate about austerity.” It doesn’t make any political sense, either. Voters like vague proposals for “reducing government waste” in the abstract, but hate cuts to programs that they care about. Why do so many members of the political elite disagree with Blanchard in their visceral passion for austerity? Why do they keep on pushing for pain when it threatens economic ruin and hurts their election chances?
Mark Blyth’s new book, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, gives us some important clues…”
The blind trust in efficient markets must be replaced and bankers given a new understanding. Profit making is different than profit maximization. Banking should be a public function, not a casino and the real economy and the environment not abandoned. Learning from the financial crisis is a sign of historical consciousness. As war is too important to be left to generals, economics is too important to be left to hucksters and financial innovators! Building community centers (as in Vancouver B.C.) could be a “non-monetary” way to public spirit.
Economics should be a pluralist discipline open and welcoming to alternatives and critical perspectives. Being resigned to driving cabs or working at McD is a declaration of bankruptcy, bitter fruits of a one-dimensional destructive economic theory where capital is granted every freedom and privilege and the short-term is the only term.
Taxation, investment, labor market, trade and distribution policy must be changed to reverse exploding inequality and the new feudalism where speculation is confused with investment, CEOs are called job creators, workers demeaned as cost-factors, risk creators stylized as risk managers and arsonists extolled as firefighters. Closing tax havens would bring $1 trillion in revenues and closing most of the 700 US military bases would make us more secure. Jobs in education cost 1/10 what jobs in capital intensive industries (e.g. chemical dye plants) cost.
In our ambivalent dialectical world (yes and no at once), reality is full of paradox and scandal, exuberance, play and mystery. The time is right for alternative economics, reducing working hours, redefining work, security, strength, health and happiness and soft power!
to read the interview with Swiss economist Ulrich Thielemann published in April 2012, click on
In “The Unwinding,” George Parker grapples with the end of the Roosevelt republic and the need to fight organized money. He sees 1978 as a beginning when California passed Proposition 13 and de-funded education.
and a 41-minute interview with storyteller Lindsey Grant on bipolar and productive creatives
Consumption: Infinite Growth is Senseless.
Writing in 1930, the great British economist John Maynard Keynes envisioned a 15-hour work week. In the midst of the worst economic crisis, he foresaw a world where people had to work much less because their needs were satisfied and they had what they needed. Keynes suggested economists should see themselves as dentists not religious guardians
The financial crisis and the real economy meltdown lowered US oil consumption and nevertheless Canada is being turned into a tar sands right-wing industrial nightmare for short-term profits and Harper’s tunnel vision.
According to a German article “When Prevention Becomes Paranoia,” more Americans die every year from bee stings than from terrorism! Secret services develop their own dynamic and create or inflate threats to strengthen their career paths.
Here is a link to two interviews with Richard and Edward Skidelsky, an economic historian and a philosopher on leisure, reducing working hours, time prosperity and the good life. Enjoy the feast of ideas!
Blind faith in the markets must be replaced and bankers brought to a new understanding… Profit making is different than profit maximization… Profit maximization, the perverse foundation of finance capitalism, can lead to mass unemployment as suffered in Greece and Spain today, exploding inequality and loss of social cohesion.
Today, studying economics is a kind of brainwashing. This must come to an end. At least some paradigmatic pluralism is desperately needed in the economics departments…
Ruthless competition that disregards human rights and environmental standards via non-?regulation and the race to the bottom in standards of good corporate conduct must come to an end.
Ulrich Thielemann is a professor of business ethics at the University of St. Galen, Switzerland.
to read his address “Debunking the Business Case for Ethics,” 4 pp from April 2011, click on
“Crazy Relationships,” Ulrich Thielemann, April 2012
From the makers of Four Horsemen – the Renegade Economist is disrupting the business television format with a new show that equips people with the knowledge, tools, techniques and mind-set they need to make the shift into the new business landscape.
Financial liberalization was and is a massive blind spot. Easy credit led to housing bubbles. We’re creating commodity bubbles and not restoring Glass-Steagal. While there is no structural change because of evil and ignorance, Internet enlightenment and democratization of knowledge is a reason for resounding hope.
Follow us on https://www.twitter.com/RenegadeEcon
or visit our website http://www.renegadeeconomist.com
to watch the 31-minute “Renegade Economist Show” from the UK from October 19, 2013, click on
VIDEO: Kennedys Don’t Cry, 1 hr 36 min
to watch the 1975 documentary “Kennedys Don’t Cry, click on
1400 banks failed in 1930. Joe Kennedy was an outsider to the Lodges of Boston, worked on FDR’s reelection and became an ambassador. Good luck is something you make. Bad luck is something you endure. One for all and all for one.
The left needs celebration and organization. Enjoy the feast in this beautiful 1975 historical documentary!
The “ABCs of Alternatives” published in May 2013 by the Rosa Luxemburg foundation includes chapters on democratization, globalization criticism, global social rights, good work, Keynesianism, knowledge commons, liberation pedagogy, no person is illegal, peace, rebellion, redistribution and the World Social Forum. Enjoy the feast! Viva la justicia!
Being civilized means learning from history
The hope is learning from others, seeing life as ambivalent and dialectical, facing and not fading out the expansion of the financial sector and speculation and abandoning the myths of the “bubble and credit prosperity” where banks become too big to fail and too big to control. “Forever number one” has also become a black hole for the global economy as Bank of America turned out to be bad-for-America. Investment is not speculation. The Wall St banks spent $4 billion over the last 10 years in lobbyists and campaign contribution and successfully diluted financial regulations like the Dodd-Frank law. The state has become the “errand boy” for the banks (Bill Moyers). The time is right for alternative economics, reducing working hours and reconsidering state and market and the social nature of the state.
What is rational in microeconomics – like competitiveness – can be irrational in micro-economics where countries try to be super-competitive and end up in mass unemployment, 27 million unemployed in Europe and 22 million in the US.
“Surveying Utopia” – Elmar Altvater and Raul Zelik:
“Five Lost Years” – Joseph Stiglitz (still in German):
Texan towns frack their way to drought conditions
Antonia Juhasz on http://www.therealnews.com , 6min http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10577 …
Anti-Fracking Protesters Block Chevron Test-Drilling in Romania http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2013/10/15/anti-fracking-protesters-block-chevron-test-drilling-in-romania/ … http://www.newsdaily.com/environment/9ebd605f7a13df130220903080521f78/romanian-villagers-occupy-site-to-prevent-chevron-fracking …