Resources for democratic, community-based economic development from the Democracy Collaborative:
Here’s the trailer for the new film “Inequality of All,” featuring Robert Reich:
Read more about the film and the facts behind it here.
Daniel Alpert explains why the economy ain’t what it used to be:
We are in an age of global oversupply: an oversupply of global labor (hence high underemployment); an oversupply of global productive capacity (hence ultra-low inflation); and an oversupply of global capital (hence low interest rates)….
[O]ne can’t properly understand the financial crisis without appreciating how the rise of the emerging nations distorted the economies of rich countries. And you can’t chart a course to more growth and stability in the developed world without recognizing that many of these distorting forces are still at work. Cheaper credit through monetary easing, for example, doesn’t yield much in an era when cheap capital already exists in abundance.
Can we get out of this mess? We can, but we need a fresh playbook.
Read his Times op-ed piece here.
Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz doesn’t mince words:
Let us be clear: our economy is not working the way a well working economy should. We have vast unmet needs, but idle workers and machines. We have bridges that need repair, roads and schools that need to be built. We have students that need a twenty-first century education, but we are laying off teachers. We have empty homes and homeless people. We have rich banks that are not lending to our small businesses, but are instead using their wealth and ingenuity to manipulate markets, and exploit working people with predatory lending.
Read excerpts from his speech at the AFL-CIO here.
Peter Buffett, co-chair of the NoVo Foundation, writing in the Times on the limits of philanthropy:
As more lives and communities are destroyed by the system that creates vast amounts of wealth for the few, the more heroic it sounds to “give back.” It’s what I would call “conscience laundering” — feeling better about accumulating more than any one person could possibly need to live on by sprinkling a little around as an act of charity…
It’s time for a new operating system. Not a 2.0 or a 3.0, but something built from the ground up. New code.
Read more here.
Check out this new research on the psychology of privilege and greed (or what some economists dub “rational behavior”):
Source: PBS News Hour.
A primer on the defects of GDP as a measure of economic well-being, from Econ4′s James Boyce:
Source: The Real News Network.
“Econ 101 is killing America,” write Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind:
Even though most economists know better, they present to the public, the media and politicians a simplified, vulgar version of neoclassical economics — what can be called Econ 101 — that leads policymakers astray. Economists fear that if they really expose policymakers to all the contradictions, uncertainties and complications of “Advanced Econ,” the latter will go off track — embracing protectionism, heavy-handed “industrial policy” or even socialism.
Read their take on the myths of Econ 101 here.
From Robert Reich’s blog:
A basic economic principle is government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.
For example, if we want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should tax carbon polluters. On the other hand, if we want more students from lower-income families to be able to afford college, we shouldn’t put a tax on student loans.
Read his post here.
Think about it: if labor supply exceeds labor demand – in other words, there are people who want to work but can’t find jobs – is the solution to expand labor supply? How could that help if there’s already excess labor supply?? Yet some politicians think that people aren’t working because unemployment benefits are too generous. Their solution: cut benefits, then the lazy bums will get out of their hammocks and look for work. And then we’ll get … hmm … more people looking for work and not finding it.
Paul Krugman breaks it down in his New York Times column:
The war on the unemployed isn’t motivated solely by cruelty; rather, it’s a case of meanspiritedness converging with bad economic analysis.
Read his piece here.