This new ebook anthology will be available from Smashwords.com from Feb 22 for $3.99!
The anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation” includes 3 translator’s introductions, 3 poems from the translator, 12 articles by Tomas Konicz, and articles by Ulrike Herrmann, Helmut Martens, Franz Garnreiter, Sven Giegold, Karl Georg Zinn, Mohssen Massarat, Joachim Bischoff, Andreas Kolbe. Attac and the Rosa Luxemburg foundation. New priorities, assumptions and policies are vital. Less
The financial sector should be shriveled and the public sector expanded. The myths of self-healing markets, efficient financial markets, nature as a free good, external and sink, infinite growth in a finite world, quantitative growth and the exact sciences eclipsing qualitative growth and the human sciences (history, literature, play, language, sociology, political science, philosophy) and private opulence next to public squalor (cf. John Kenneth Galbraith) must call us to rethinking – individually and collectively.
Alternative Austrian, Swiss, Polish and German economists can alert us to the bankruptcy of austerity policy and fiscal policy aiding capital at the expense of workers and the environment. The future economic policy must be regional and decentralized. A post-materialist economy is possible as we transition from excess to access and more to enough. Work, health, strength, security and happiness can be redefined. The rights of nature can be respected in a future of moderation, equality and freedom.
More and more is produced with fewer and fewer workers. Work and income have uncoupled as people cannot survive on their earnings from work and depend on credits and loans. Reducing working hours is a response to increased productivity and is the only way to assure everyone of the right to meaningful work. Reducing working hours, as Michael Schwendinger explains, is a socio-economic investment that protects long-term health interests and gives people more time sovereignty
Here is an thumbnail outline of several alternative economists. Peter Ulrich is a Swiss economist. The economy must be embedded in society. Society must not be embedded in the economy. Ulrich Thielemann is a Swiss and German economist. Profit making is not profit maximizing. Studying economics today is like brainwashing. Tomasz Konicz is a Polish economist. The 30 year crisis is not an Obama crisis. Wages were stagnant for 35 years. Credit was expanded. Families worked 3 or 4 jobs. Health care, education and housing became unaffordable. The US became a black hole for the global economy.
Personal performance always depends on the work of past generations and state interventions. Americans fall to a new feudalism with the deserving and undeserving, fear-mongering and racism. Pragmatism or market religion often replaces vision, principle and courage. Confusing speculation and investment makes the next crisis inevitable. Wall Street banks spent $10 billion in campaign contribution and lobbying ensuring corruption, weak financial deregulation and shifting private losses to public taxpayers.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Three Poems for the New World
A. ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS: PLURALISM AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST
1. Ulrike Herrmann: The Crisis of Economists
2. Helmut Martens: Social Inequality Today
3. Attac: Learning Economic Democracy
Causes of the Global Financial Crisis
The Neoclassical Crisis Narrative
The Keynesian Crisis Narrative
The Marxist Crisis Narrative
4. For the Renewal of Economics: Memorandum of Shocked Economists
B. ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS: SHRIVELING THE FINANCIAL SECTOR AND EXPANDING THE PUBLIC SECTOR
1. Tomasz Konacz: From Real Estate Speculation to Collapse of Global Deficit Economy
2. From the Debt Showdown into the Recession
3. The Crisis Explained
4. Democracy in Crisis: The Terror of Economy is a Danger to Democracy
5. The Extremist Society
6. In a Vicious Circle
7. Addicted to Liquidity Injections
8. Tea Party: Extremism of the Middle
9. Financial Market Inflammation
10. Ways Out of Capitalism
11. Everything Must Go!
12. The Great Liquidity Bubble
13. Joachim Bischoff: Finance-driven Capitalism
14. Joachim Bischoff: Alternatives to Stagnation and Depression
15. Karl Georg Zinn: The Catastrophe Has Already Begun
C. ALTERNATIVE ECONOMICS: REJECTING MILITARISM AND NEOLIBERALISM
1. Mohssen Massarat: Less Growth and Less Work
2. Mohssen Massarat: The Military-Industrial Complex is the Greatest Threat for World Peace in our Time
3. Michael Schwendinger: Reduced Working Hours as a Socio-economic Investment
4. Franz Garnreiter: Criticism of Market Theory and Market Ideology
5. Andreas Kolbe: The Coded World
6. Sven Giegold: The Lobby for Tax Evaders
7. Ernst Wolff: Janet Yellen’s Storytime
8. Ulrich Duchrow: Ecological Justice Instead of Growth Economy for the Rich
9. Asbjorn Wahl: How Can We Join the Struggles Against Austerity and Climate Change?
APPENDIX: MYTHS OF THE ECONOMY
Audio: What’s Wrong with the TPP?
Scott Sinclair, Michael Geist and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Feb 1, 2016, 27 min
Canada has said it will sign on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new twelve-country international economic pact. But the corporate-driven TPP is about much more than “free trade”, and concerns are mounting. We go in-depth with four experts: Scott Sinclair, director of the CCPA’s Trade and Investment Research Project; Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce law at the University of Ottawa; Meghan Sali, digital rights specialist at OpenMedia; and Stuart Trew, editor of the CCPA Monitor.
Michael Geist: http://michaelgeist.ca/
CCPA’s coverage of the TPP:
The TPP and Canada by Scott Sinclair and Stewart Trew
TPP Will Cost Canada 58,000 Jobs, Won’t Grow Economy by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood
Reviewing the TPP: Trudeau’s best-case scenario by Scott Sinclair and Stewart Trew
– See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/multimedia/altpolicy-episode-4#sthash.SNOTldX3.dpuf
Contemporary capitalism has a big problem. And no one seems to be able to refute it.
The problem, as Robert J. Gordon sees it, is that economic growth is slowing down, it has been for decades, and there’s no prospect for a resumption of fast economic growth in the foreseeable future. After fifty (from 1920 to 1970) years of relatively fast growth, and a single decade (the 1950s) of spectacular growth, the prospects for continued growth seem to have dimmed after 1970.
In the century after the end of the Civil War, life in the United States changed beyond recognition. There was a revolution—an economic, rather than a political one—which freed people from an unremitting daily grind of manual labor and household drudgery and a life of darkness, isolation and early death. By the 1970s, many manual, outdoor jobs had been replaced by work in air-conditioned environments, housework was increasingly performed by machines, darkness was replaced by electric light, and isolation was replaced not only by travel, but also by color television, which brought the world into the living room. Most importantly, a newborn infant could expect to live not to the age of 45, but to 72. This economic revolution was unique—and unrepeatable, because so many of its achievements could happen only once. . .
Since 1970, economic growth has been dazzling and disappointing. This apparent paradox is resolved when we recognize that recent advances have mostly occurred in a narrow sphere of activity having to do with entertainment, communications and the collection and processing of information. For the rest of what humans care about—food, clothing, shelter, transportation, health and working conditions both inside and outside the home—progress has slowed since 1970, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
From what I have read, Gordon appears to privilege technical innovation over other factors (such as dispossessing non-capitalist producers and creating a large class of wage-laborers, concentrating them in factories and cities, and so on). He also seems to argue that the fruits of past economic growth were evenly distributed and that the drudgery of work itself has been eliminated.
Still, the idea that rapid economic growth took place during a relatively short period of time dispels one of the central myths of capitalism, much as the discovery that relative equality in the distribution of wealth and constant factor shares characterized an exceptional phase of capitalism…
We certainly don’t know what lies ahead. But, since the 1970s, we’ve witnessed growing inequality in the distribution of income and wealth, which resulted in and in turn was exacerbated by the most severe economic crisis since the 1930s. Capitalism’s legitimacy, based on “just deserts” and economic stability, was already being called into question. Decades of slow economic growth and the real possibility that that trend might continue for the foreseeable future mean that capitalism (not to mention those who spend their time celebrating capitalism’s successes and failing to imagine alternatives) has an even bigger problem.
“The US has always been Canada’s Mexico”
Maybe Senator Sanders will win in Iowa and become a snowball that grows bigger and bigger!
to read the hilarious article by Alex Lithwick and Dahlla Lithwick published on Jan 27 on slate.com, click on
to read the book excerpt “Rosa Luxemburg Explains Capitalism Using Spoons” by Kate Evans, Verso Books, published on truth-out.org, Jan 14, 2016, click on
The inspiring life, engaging prose and intellectual prowess of Rosa Luxemburg leap off the page through Kate Evans’ art in a new graphic biography of the revolutionary socialist. Red Rosa captures the many elements of Luxemburg’s life, from her economic theories to her constant opposition to war, and from idyllic times with lovers and friends to bitter clashes with reformist elements on the German left.
In this excerpt, the teenage Rosa Luxemburg teaches her family about Marx’s Das Kapital, explaining material and social relations and the problem of money.
The arc of history bends toward justice (MLK). The welcoming tradition is part of American history, not only the traditions of fear and personal enrichment.
The one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. The bomb changed everything except the way we think (Albert Einstein).
Corporatist democrats seem to be 100% pragmatists and 0% idealists. Lies and trickery darken much of American history. 7.5 million tons of bombs dropped on Vietnam, 2.5 million tons of bombs dropped on Laos. According to Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, Saudi Arabia has purchased $50 billion in armaments over the last decade and Israel receives $8 million of military assistance every day.
The elite never make a mistake; everything is only a learning experience. Bill Clinton said NAFTA would bring 1 million jobs to the US and instead 1 million jobs were lost, subsidized corn was dumped on Mexico and millions of Mexicans could not survive on their small farms. Bill Clinton revoked the Glass-Steagal fire wall between commercial and speculative banks, encouraged the creation of money out of thin air and had the gall to write “Back to Work.” Life and death matters, economic theory and truthfullness are secondary to financiers and cardboard politicians bent on their own enrichment. Sanders is the only candidate who would not lead us to WWIII and has principle, determination, consistency, love of life and love of the future and would help end poverty instead of ending democracy!
The TTIP, TPP and TISA are NAFTA on steroids, corporate rule run amok, refusing to live in a multipolar world where labor and nature have rights, refusing self-criticism and future-friendly economics, refusing to see market failure and state violence and the self-destruction of profit-worship and the inanity of thinking we are “albright.”
Jean Twenge in her book “The Narcissism Epidemic” explains that narcissism, the cult of specialness, was thought to be the ladder of success while it really is a terrible anti-social blindness that fades out others and blocks discussion (www.booktv.org).
Orwell warned against Newspeak where lies become truth and slavery becomes freedom.
The TPP like the TTIP and TISA is a blatant threat to democracy and the constitutional state. A parallel private arbitration court system excludes the public, allows foreign investors to sue governments, makes decisions irrevocable and will have a chilling effect on labor and environmental legislation. Public interest is eclipsed by private interest. Anti-fracking, minimum wage, public sector workers, nuclear-closures, genetic engineering and regulations protecting labor and the environment are all endangered. Vattenfall is suing Germany for 4 billion Euros for closing two nuclear plants. Veolia, owner of an Egyptian waste disposal firm, is suing Egypt for lost profits because of a higher minimum wage.
TPP is NAFTA on steroids, a reflection of the “Anything goes” part of late stage capitalism. The 6000 page document that was negotiated in secret with 600 corporate lobbyists doesn’t even mention “climate change.”
Social Inequality Today by Helmut Martens, Jan 2015
The neoliberal rollback has created growing instabilities. An advancing process of de-democratization and social re-feudalization is connected with the rise of the new “super-rich.”.. The development of global capitalism reveals its contradictory form described by Marx and other philosophers in which something new is constantly proclaimed that ultimately only leads to the old conditions.
In her analysis, Chrystia Freeland says extreme inequality in the US first developed after the second industrial revolution. That was the “Gilded Age” (with its strikes and slums)… Piketty warned sharply of the emerging and growing inequality between rich and poor. He offered pragmatic solutions as in a progressive wealth tax that are not a question of left and right but of common sense.
Reality begins when we all begin to believe. Enjoy this free movie that could inspire us to bring hope and possibility into our late capitalist cul-de-sac! Housing, health care and education should be public goods, not private privileges.
In Mexico City, five real-life “social wrestlers” have capitalized on the popularity of Mexico’s larger than life Lucha Libre wrestlers to fight for social justice rather than trophies. Wearing custom masks, costumes and capes like the wrestlers who inspired them, these anonymous grassroots superheroes protect their metropolis against injustice.
Super Animal challenges bullfighters to leave the bulls alone and fight him instead. After a savage beating kills his boyfriend, Super Gay becomes a champion of gay rights, fighting rampant homophobia. Ecologista Universal battles environmental destruction of every kind, all on foot. Super Barrio is the defender of poor tenants, helping them resist evictions by slumlords cashing in on gentrification.
With a mixture of live action, comic book-style animation and a surf guitar soundtrack inspired equally by mariachi music and Batman, Super Amigos shows that with a little imagination, a good heart and the right mask, anyone can activate their communities to triumph over evil.
Two months ago, our cousins to the north, Canada, ended the disaster known as conservative government, throwing out Prime Minister Stephen Harper along with his party and replacing them with liberals in huge numbers. Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau took the reins as Canada’s 23rd prime minister. Mr. Trudeau is already showing that under his leadership, Canada is going to be a far different country in many respects from where it was under his predecessor.
Trudeau sat down for a town hall meeting, hosted by Maclean’s, probably Canada’s most influential news magazine. Given the fact that it isn’t possible to completely divorce Canadian affairs from what is going on in the U.S., it was inevitable that the prime minister would be asked about the upcoming American election. The response given by this soft-spoken, intelligent man was the direct antithesis of the ridiculous machismo and bombast that was on display at the Republican debate on Tuesday night.
The original question, sent by a Twitter user, was about Donald Trump: “Will you stand up to Donald Trump and condemn his hateful rhetoric?” But Trudeau showed his brilliance with a reply that was a stern message not only for Trump, but also for the entire Republican Party and anybody who agrees with them.
Trudeau begins his response by saying that he wants to proceed with caution, because it would be important to Canada for him to have a “positive relationship with whoever Americans choose as their president.” But after saying that, he continues with a comment that all of the Republican presidential candidates should hear.
I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that I stand firmly against the politics of division, the politics of fear, the politics of intolerance or hateful rhetoric.
Any modern society does best when we understand that diversity is a source of strength, not a source of weakness. That the elements on which we are similar are always far greater than the elements on which we are diverse. And if we allow politicians to succeed by scaring people, we don’t actually end up any safer. Fear doesn’t make us safer — it makes us weaker.