Jan 11, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Economic fallacies: time to work more, or less?

Economic fallacies: time to work more, or less?

Writing in The Guardian, Econ4 team member Juliet Schor explains the economic logic of a shorter working week:
In the models of neo-classical economics times like the present are assumed away. But when we’re actually living through them, we need to recognise that measures that result in higher hours can be counter-productive by creating more unemployment and investor pessimism. Similarly, responding to shortfalls in pension programs by asking people to stay in the labour force more years further dis-equilibrates the market by creating more demand for a limited number of jobs.
Read her piece here.
Jan 9, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Ethics in economics: a step forward

Ethics in economics: a step forward

The Wall Street Journal, reporting on the American Economics Association’s recent decision to require economists to disclose potential conflicts of interest, quotes Econ4’s George DeMartino and Gerald Epstein, leading advocates of uploading ethics into the profession.

George DeMartino, a University of Denver professor who headed the panel, has argued for the adoption of an even broader “economists’ oath” that would address questions like the ethics of advising dictators and the responsibility of economists to stand up for the poor.

Gerald Epstein, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst who has previously criticized economists’ lack of disclosure, in an email called the policy “a very big step forward.” He said the call for disclosure in nonacademic work, though nonbinding was particularly important because it will help “set norms of behavior that colleagues, the press, students and citizens can help hold economists accountable to.”

Read the story here.

Jan 7, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Tent City University

Tent City University

The U.K.’s “Tent City University” offers a short course in occupied economics:

http://tentcityuniversity.occupylsx.org/?page_id=172

Jan 4, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Fracking democracy

Fracking democracy

In 2010, Pittsburgh’s City Council voted unanimously to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction within city limits. Now the Pennsylvania legislature is moving to deny local governments the right to protect the local environment:

We don’t have a fracking problem. We have a democracy problem.

 

Read about it here.

Dec 30, 2011
boyce
Comments Off on Globalization of protest

Globalization of protest

From Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz:

The best government that money can buy is no longer good enough.

 

Read his piece here.

Dec 28, 2011
econ4org
Comments Off on Commies Under The Bed?

Commies Under The Bed?

From Miles, November 28, 2011:

What is the difference between what you propose and communism?

 

Econ4 replies:

Gee, red-baiting is so last century. But we’re glad you asked. Check out our mission statement where we set out Econ4’s four necessary conditions for a healthy economy:

1. A level playing field.

2. Resilience.

3. True-cost pricing.

4. Real democracy.

Doesn’t sound like actually existing communism. Or like actually existing capitalism. If those were the only two choices, economics really would be a dismal science. They aren’t, and it doesn’t have to be.

Dec 27, 2011
boyce

Video: America Beyond Capitalism

“If it can happen in Cleveland, it can happen anywhere.” Gar Alperovitz on an alternative to state socialism and corporate capitalism:

Source: The Real News Network.

 

Dec 21, 2011
boyce
Comments Off on Economics 4 People

Economics 4 People

From the Valley Advocate of Northampton, Mass.:

Popular economics education? The phrase seems oxymoronic. What field is more institutionalized and less popularized than economics?

Yet here is Econ4, a new initiative floating around the outskirts of economic academia, aiming to “end intellectual monoculture in the economics profession.”

Why are they doing this? And just what do they hope to accomplish?

“In the wake of the financial crisis, there was a need and demand for a better understanding of economics, more rooted in reality,” James Boyce tells me as we talk in his office. “You can’t delegate this stuff to the high priests of academia, Wall Street, and the Treasury Department.”

Read more here.

Dec 19, 2011
boyce

Cap-and-dividend climate policy

This short cartoon from www.capanddividend.org lays out how a cap-and-dividend climate policy would work:

Source: Cap’n Dividend.

Dec 18, 2011
boyce
Comments Off on The case for true-cost pricing: Indian Point nuclear plant

The case for true-cost pricing: Indian Point nuclear plant

“Indian Point: The Next Fukushima?” Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Victor Gilinsky, writing in The New York Times:

Some 160,000 Japanese are still displaced because the radioactive contamination — in an area far less populated and less dense than the New York area — was so intense and far-reaching. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s cost-benefit analyses for Indian Point and other nuclear plants in the United States do not factor in these possibilities.

Read the entire piece here.