Econ4’s Gerald Friedman laments the blindness of orthodox economics:
When I conducted an assessment of Senator Bernie Sanders’ economic proposals and found that they could produce robust growth, the negative reaction among powerful liberal economists was swift and vehement. How much, I wondered, did this reflect personal disappointment being rationalized into a political economy of despair? Professional economists tend to embrace an economic theory that government can do little more than fuss around the edges. From that stance, what do they have to offer ordinary people for whom the economy is not working? Not a whole lot.
Read Friedman’s full piece here.
A long history of elite disconnection from the economic realities faced by most Americans helped to set the stage for the nation’s current political turmoil:
For some time now most of the people in this country have been under economic pressure. Pay is not going up very much or at all, while living costs keep rising. One recent statistic stands out – 63 percent of Americans would have difficulty raising $500 to cover an emergency, like a sudden need for car repair so they can get to work. Around them the community’s roads and schools and services are in decline.
Most of the public can see this clearly, yet so many elites can’t see at all, and see it or not, they do little or nothing to make things better. This arrogance of our blind, well-fixed elites is helping drive the Donald Trump phenomenon.
Read more here.
Peter Barnes explains how protecting the environment and sharing the fruits of our economy more broadly can – and should – go hand-in-hand:
The failure to charge for common wealth — for example, letting polluters dump freely into our atmosphere — leads to what economists call “negative externalities.” The costs of pollution aren’t paid by polluters; they are shifted to pollutees, nature and future generations. And this market failure persists because no living individuals or companies would financially benefit from fixing it.But imagine a system in which everyone benefits from fixing this tragic flaw. In this system, polluters would pay and all living citizens, as joint beneficiaries and trustees of nature’s gifts, would get dividends. The higher the price for using the commons, the larger the dividends and the lower the externalities. The health of nature’s gifts would be directly linked to greater income for everyone.
Read more here.
Econ4 is pleased to announce the Grand Prize and Most Creative Prize winner in the Econ4 Video Remix Contest:
“The Greatest Economics Lesson” created by Taylor Erickson, a nonprofit intern in Cleveland, Ohio.
Announcing the prize winner for the Most Inspiring video in the Econ4 Video Remix Contest!
“Charlie Chaplin on Greed,” produced by Korbinian Blendl and Marco Bader from Germany.
We are pleased to present the prize winner for the Funniest Video in the Econ4 Video Remix Contest!
“Greed: It’s What You Need!” by Evan Moore, an independent filmmaker based in Seattle.
Two more Honorable Mentions:
“Greed in America” by Aidan Connolly, a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“Econ4 Greed Music Video” by Andrew Erickson of the Digital Film Academy in New York.
This week we’ll be posting the winning entries in the Econ4 Video Remix Contest. We open today with Honorable Mentions for two videos from high school students. Enjoy!
Video by Evan Warner, a senior at Northfield High School in Northfield, Vermont.
Featuring Jameson King and Haylie Bettes with video production by Brett Lucas from the Macon Area Career Center in Macon, Missouri.
Econ4 does not accept advertising dollars. And we don’t promote commercial ventures. But for the first time ever, we’re making this exception (free promotion – still no dollars) for Michael Moore’s latest film. It debuts in theaters on Feb. 12.