May the New Year Be Full of Good Surprises!

Celebrate the New Year with the 159-page eBook “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation” by Marc Batko, Smashwords ($3.99)!

Mainstream trickle-down economics is helpless in countering exploding inequality and precarious work. Austrian, Swiss, Polish and German critical economists could help us find a future-friendly economics with reduced working hours and reduced destruction of nature.

The appendix explains 29 state, business, labor, and social myths. The state is not a business or a housewife but can incur debts to help coming generations. What is rational from a micro-economic perspective can be disastrous from a macro-economic perspective (e.g. competition can lead to mass unemployment on a macro-level). Wages are vital demand and never only a cost-factor.

Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people.
Access instead of excess! Enough instead of more!

The anthology “Alternative Economics: Reversing Stagnation” includes 3 translator’s introductions, 3 poems from the translator, 12 articles by Tomas Konicz, 1 article by Ulrike Herrmann, 1 article by Helmut Martens, 1 article by Franz Garnreiter, 1 article by Sven Giegold,, 1 article by Karl Georg Zinn and an appendix “Myths of the Economy” that explains 29 state, labor, business and social myths. 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 every one 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.

The appendix “Myths of the Economy” explains 29 state myths, labor myths, business myths and social myths. The state is not a business or a household but can become indebted to help future generations. The future can be open and dynamic instead of closed and static if we tackle the myths and contradictions that lead to exploding inequality and precarious work.

Enjoy the feast! Celebrate your independence!

This entry was posted in Alternative Economics, Neoliberalism, Reducing Working Hours. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to May the New Year Be Full of Good Surprises!

  1. Marc says:

    Memoranda on Alternative Economic Policy


    Memorandum 2008 (2)
    portland imc – 2008.12.23 – The State Invests and Memorandum 2008

    Memorandum 2014
    portland imc – 2014.07.29 – Memorandum 2014

    Memorandum 2015

    Poverty Returns with Misguided Policy by Franz Segbers

    The state should represent the public interest and yet private or special interests are in the driver’s seat with privatization, deregulation and liberalized markets.

    Trump’s proposed 2018 budget is a sledgehammer with cuts to EPA, Meals-on-Wheels, school lunches, WIC food assistance, PBS, Legal Services Corp and more. The state should not be the “errand boy” for the banks (Bill Moyers). Majority rule must be balanced by minority protection for the state to be legitimate (Lani Guinier). Indifference is love’s enemy. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

    Video: How to Know if Your Country is Headed for Despotism
    Video: How to Know if Your Country Is Heading Toward Despotism (1946), 10 min : Indybay

    Video: How to Know if Your Country Is Heading Toward Despotism (1946), 10 m…
    Nobody likes a despot — even despots know it. But actually identifying despotism can pose a certain difficulty —…

    The ABCs of Meaningless Economic Phrases by Rudolf Hickel and Heinz J. Bontrup

    The most common myths start from the tax state that burdens the economy, the housework ordered by the state (save,save,save) to the Schwabian housewife prescribing the austerity creed. Politics must tend to very need of capital as a scared doe and therefore lower taxes. The term reform has been twisted around completely and is used to reduce the social responsibility of the state….

    Since 1979 the study group Alternative Economic Policy at the University of Bremen has presented memorandums under the leadership of Jorg Huffschmid (Cf.

    Alternative economics emphasizes reducing working hours and investing in the infrastructure. Education spending must be increased to ensure quality of life. Future necessities and the right to work must not be hallucinated away as precarious work becomes more widespread.

    According to the neoliberal myth higher profits lead to greater investments and more jobs. In truth, higher profits entice to speculation on foreign currencies, food and raw materials and to buying back company shares.

    Social-economic regulation opposes supply-side trickle-down economics with its social cuts and tax relief for the super-rich. The Asian crisis, the Mexican crisis, the Argentinean crisis and the Russian crisis strike back at “Forever Number one.” The Washington consensus exposed as a fraud by the latest financial crisis is based on deregulation, privatization, opening markets and attacking unions.

    Instead of expanding education and creating community centers with a multiplier effect, trillions are squandered on wars of choice and bailouts to speculators who stylize themselves as “investors” and “system-relevant.”

    The crisis is also a chance to abandon the destruction of nature and the hegemony of financial markets and financial products. The “quiet coop” of Wall Street and the banks could be countered with new models replacing the models of corporate business, rapacious business model and the short-sighted privatization model. The state has a social nature and cannot only be a security and power state or a trough for “achievers” and the super-rich and an “activating – punishing” state for the unemployed.

    Thirty years of supply side, trickle-down economics favored the capital side and speculation and grieved the labor side. The role of the state, reversing inequality and creating meaningful jobs became taboo subjects with the self-healing market. All problems were stylized as interferences with the market. Private vices were said to produce the public good. All life was reduced, commodified or instrumentalized to economic productivity.

    Herbert Marcuse (“One Dimensional Man”), Erich Fromm (“Escape from Freedom”) and John Kenneth Galbraith (“The Affluent Society”) could be our mentors as we redefine the economy, the state and future-friendly sustainability. The “Gross Happiness Index” could replace the “Gross Domestic Product.” Progress could be redefined as living simply so others can simply live. Maximization of knowledge could replace maximization of profit. The community centers in Vancouver B.C. could be seen as an advance in social evolution with multiplier effects reinvigorating public spirit. Ignorance could be fought, not immigrants. Corporations could be made taxable again since schools, roads and police protection do not arise out of the blue. Dishwashers do not become millionaires. The state has a vital role to protect people from unemployment, old age poverty and abuse of power.

    The social state, solidarity, justice and sharing, open doors while neoliberal deregulation and privatization lead to exploding inequality, generalized insecurity and disappearance of public spirit.

    To read the memoranda of the Study Group Alternative Economic Policy, click on

    Redistributing Income, Work and Power: Alternatives to Serving the Upper Class
    Without increasing internal demand, the upswing based on replacement-investments and exports cannot continue. Without reduced working hours, adequate jobs will not be created in a world of reduced work volumes, rationalization and information technology.


    VIDEO: MIGUEL D’ESCOTO, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2009-2010, interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, April 26, 2010


    Memorandum 2013 – The deepening crisis, 45 pp
    Both Germany and the US seem locked into unsustainable models, jobless growth, stagnant wages for 20 or 40 years, exploding inequality and “post-democratic” governments that care for bankers and speculators, not those whom they should represent. The myths of the Schwabian housewife and “trickle down economics” (cf. John Kenneth Galbraith’s horse-sparrow theory, the horse must be fed so the sparrow can live) still carry the day for the decision-making elites.

    The Alternative Economic Policy study group has been publishing memorandums for 20 years urging a radical change of course: from quantitative growth and environment destruction to qualitative growth, expansion of the public sector, shriveling of the financial sector, reducing working hours, infrastructure investment and higher taxation of the super-rich. What are the motors, models and myths that must be overcome and corrected? Can we sit on our hands and imagine college graduates can just drive cabs? Is speculation the same as investment? Is plutocracy the same as democracy? Are long-term necessities eclipsed by short-term practical constraints?

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