Browsing articles tagged with " economics"
Apr 22, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Austerity fiasco

Austerity fiasco

The revelation by UMass-Amherst researchers that a key Harvard study used to support austerity economics was based on sloppy (mis)use of data has created a sensation in the media and the economics profession. Paul Krugman explains the selling power of junk economics:

The intellectual edifice of austerity economics rests largely on two academic papers that were seized on by policy makers, without ever having been properly vetted, because they said what the Very Serious People wanted to hear.

Read Krugman’s piece here.

Read a brief summary by UMass economists here.

See links to media coverage here.

Mar 30, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on Straight talk about the next American revolution

Straight talk about the next American revolution

Advance praise for What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution (Chelsea Green, April 2013), by Econ4’s Gar Alperovitz:

“Gar Alperovitz’s new book is so plain-spoken and accessible that it takes a moment to appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishment. After examining new patterns of positive change emerging in America today—including many undernoticed changes that involve democratizing the ownership of wealth—he develops a brilliant strategy for the type of transformative change that can lead America from decline to rebirth. In giving a sense of strategic direction and honest possibility to the call for a new economy, Alperovitz has made an enormous contribution exactly where it is most needed.”
James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy

“In this important new book, Gar Alperovitz is telling us there’s something happening here in corporate-driven America, be it social enterprise, community land trusts, worker-owned businesses, or employee stock ownership plans. We all know that the free-market economic system no longer works for the vast majority of citizens and Alperovitz is showing us that there is a better, equally American way, to spread the wealth and put more people to work, while making the nation a safer and healthier place to live. This is not an utopian fantasy or a call for social engineering, but a plain-spoken and easy-to-absorb analysis by one of our leading economists of what’s gone wrong and how to make it better.”
Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker

 

Jan 7, 2013
boyce
Comments Off on The austerity fallacy

The austerity fallacy

Austerity policies are founded on a fallacy of composition: the mistaken notion that if something is true of the part (in this case, households), it must be true of the whole (in this case, the nation’s economy). Paul Krugman, writing in the Times, explains the difference:

An economy is not like a household. A family can decide to spend less and try to earn more. But in the economy as a whole, spending and earning go together: my spending is your income; your spending is my income. If everyone tries to slash spending at the same time, incomes will fall — and unemployment will soar….

The crisis in Greece [from 2010] was taken, wrongly, as a sign that all governments had better slash spending and deficits right away. Austerity became the order of the day, and supposed experts who should have known better cheered the process on, while the warnings of some (but not enough) economists that austerity would derail recovery were ignored. For example, the president of the European Central Bank confidently asserted that “the idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect.”

Well, someone was incorrect, all right.

Read his piece here.

Oct 11, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Dollars & Sense

Dollars & Sense

A popular magazine on “real world economics.”

Oct 11, 2012
boyce

New Economy Working Group

Advancing democratic alternatives to oligarchy:

Extreme inequality undermines democracy, the economy, public health and culture. Concentrated wealth translates into political power to further shape elections, legislative priorities and rules in favor of global corporations and the already wealthy. This in turn leads to the kind of economic distortions that caused the 2008 financial collapse. In the lead up to the collapse, the bottom 70 percent of the U.S. population responded to stagnant wages by borrowing beyond their means, while the top 1 percent engaged in reckless speculation on highly rated but essentially worthless securities in financial markets freed from essential regulation and public oversight.

More here.

Jul 20, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Confidence Men & Fairytales

Confidence Men & Fairytales

In “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4′s joint project with AlterNet, Paul Davidson tours a fairytale world:

Conservative economists and their friends like to trot out a mythical being whenever they want to make arguments that favor an economy built for the wealthy at the expense of ordinary people. This imaginary being, known as the Confidence Fairy, is only happy when capitalists are given free rein to do whatever they want – even if it brings us to the brink of a global economic meltdown.

Read his essay here.

Jul 13, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Bringing Bad Things to Life

Bringing Bad Things to Life

In the second installment of “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4’s joint project with AlterNet, Doug Smith lays out the difference between profiting from market successes and profiting from market failures:

Capitalists can pick between two responses to markets that are failing. They can bet their capital on fixing them – on bringing more good things to life. Or, they can do everything possible to extract more and more profit by extending, expanding and exacerbating the failures.

Read more here.

Jul 13, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on How Paris Hilton’s Dogs Ended up Better off than You

How Paris Hilton’s Dogs Ended up Better off than You

Jerry Friedman recounts the gripping story of the greatest heist ever in the first installment of “Capitalism Unmasked,” Econ4’s joint project with AlterNet:

Elites say that we need inequality to encourage the rich to invest and the creative to invent. That’s working out well — for 1% pooches.

 

Read all about it here.

Jun 11, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Gar Alperovitz on the new economy movement

Gar Alperovitz on the new economy movement

Just beneath the surface of traditional media attention, something vital has been gathering force and is about to explode into public consciousness.

 

Read about it here.

Jun 7, 2012
boyce
Comments Off on Rent-seeking in America

Rent-seeking in America

Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz defines rent-seeking as “using political and economic power to get a larger share of the national pie, rather than to grow the national pie” – and he says that America today has become a rent-seeking society. Hear him interviewed here (the 7:40-8:55 interval for the rent-seeking passage), discussing on his new book, The Price of Inequality.

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