Economic stimulus packages can never satisfactorily address the real problem of unemployment and underemployment in market economies, according to Randall L. Wray. He estimates real unemployment is close to 30 million people or 20% of the workforce in the USA. But there is an effective and affordable to achieve full employment through direct job creation programs financed by the US Government. In this webcast, Professor Wray discusses the short and long term causes of unemployment, the right to employment, the hidden costs of unemployment, the unrecognized benefits of full employment, theory of how job guarantee programs can effectively balance full employment and currency stability along with practical examples of successful programs. This presentation will be of interest to all those looking for a realistic practical strategy for addressing the problem of unemployment. Wray is Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College in New York. He is author of numerous books including Money and Credit in Capitalist Economies and Understanding Modern Money: The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability. For a complete bio and list of Professor Wray’s publications and links to working papers, click here
Cannabis: Moving from Insanity to Industry Patrick Martin May 15, 2019 According to Einstein, insanity is, “Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”. Since colonialism, we have been doing a same thing.We have been acting out a deception that caused the demonization of a plant that has profound medicinal and industrial… Read More
Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy
- The government must raise funds through taxation or borrowing in order to spend. In other words, government spending is limited by its ability to tax or borrow.
- With government deficits, we are leaving our debt burden to our children.
- Government budget deficits take away savings.
- Social Security is broken.
- The trade deficit is an unsustainable imbalance that takes away jobs and output.
- We need savings to provide the funds for investment.
- It’s a bad thing that higher deficits today mean higher taxes tomorrow.
October 8-12, 1974 a symposium on “Patterns of Resource Use, Environment and Development Strategies” was convened in Cocoyoc, Mexico by the directors of United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Maurice Strong and Gamani Corea. The rapporteurs were Barbara Ward for resource use and the environment and Johan Galtung for development strategies. That part of THE COCOYOC DECLARATION—adopted by the participants–is reproduced below, with a certain sadness: it is as valid today, more than 30 years later. The two directors received a three feet long cable, from the US State Department, rejecting the declaration entirely. Signed by: Henry Kissinger.
Introduction to an Alternative History of Money Author(s): L. Randall Wray Download: Working Paper No. 717 http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/introduction-to-an-alternative-history-of-money This paper integrates the various strands of an alternative, heterodox view on the origins of money and the development of the modern financial system in a manner that is consistent with the findings of historians and anthropologists. As… Read More
Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda. Propagandists present facts selectively or publish lies (colloquially known as fake news) to encourage a particular perception by using strategically drafted language to produce an emotional, rather than a rational response, to the information presented.
The objective of propaganda is to trick the reader or listener into believing what the propagandist wants him or her to believe. By purposefully choosing parts of the bigger picture or by blatantly lying about the picture, the reader can be deceived into believing partial truths or lies.
Widespread political propaganda can cause a state of information chaos within a country, which only benefits politicians and political parties (or an enemy state e.g. Russia’s alleged information attack on the US general election). A wise man once said that the sole objective of a political party is to win elections. In order to win control of the government, in our constitutional system, citizens and residents choose the political party by way of voting for its political candidates. Therefore, politicians and political parties use propaganda to keep supporters loyal and to gain new supporters.
Politicians do not want voters to be objectively informed to challenge decisions and statements made by them. Blind loyalty is what political parties crave. When politicians steal state funds, take bribes, become morally bankrupt or fail in the management of their Ministries, they do not want to lose voters in the next election at all costs, so their actions or inactions can continue without repercussion.
Politicians also want their supporters to rally behind them, no matter what scandal or bobol is associated with them. Blind loyalty of this nature is preserved by the use of propaganda. Hypothetically, if a container of air conditioners destined for a state office goes missing (ending up in a politician and his or her family members’ homes) the pro-government propagandist will issue a press release or fake news item stating that a container fell off a ship in the Caribbean Sea while sailing from Miami to St Kitts. The politicians do not care if the story is true, once it is disseminated to as many people as possible. Who are you to question what “the media” tells you happened to the container?
“Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it” is quote from Nazi propaganda chief Dr Joseph Goebbels. That is the essence of the trick used by politicians and political parties for centuries.
We live in the era of Economism. Human consciousness is deeply etched by economistic beliefs in individualism, materialism, property, markets, economic growth, and freedom as consumer choice. These beliefs are necessary to sustain the system that supports us. But the economy we have is unlikely to support our grandchildren. Natural scientists argue that we are in a new geologic era, the Anthropocene, where people have become the major force in changing the geosphere: the atmosphere, oceans, and land. But it is the economistic beliefs that describe the cosmos of most people, bind people together, support their particular behavior, and sustain the economic system. Economism is altering the physical processes of the geosphere and collapsing the diversity of the biosphere. Econocene is a more appropriate term for the new geologic era. Fossil fuels and their technologies have transformed agricultural and industrial processes, the mobility of goods and people, and the geographies of cities and rural areas. People’s values, ways of understanding, and social organization have coevolved with fossil fuels and their technologies, but it is economism that binds people together and girds the economic system we have. We need a new “ism”, a new human consciousness, to support a new relationship with Earth and its other inhabitants.
Lindsay Grant, Minister in the Unity administration, said last week that the Unity manifesto on which they were elected in 2015 was “a contract with the people” and that “Unity has delivered on almost everything in the manifesto and more”. I assume he used the word “almost” because Unity has not delivered on their fundamental contract with the people to make government and the electoral system open, transparent and accountable which it is not at present and never has been…
As the climate crisis worsens and the carbon budgets set out by the Paris Agreement shrink, climate scientists and ecologists have increasingly come to highlight economic growth as a matter of concern. Growth drives energy demand up and makes it significantly more difficult – and likely infeasible – for nations to transition to clean energy quickly enough to prevent potentially catastrophic levels of global warming. In recent years, IPCC scientists have argued that the only feasible way to meet the Paris Agreement targets is to actively scale down the material throughput of the global economy. Reducing material throughput reduces energy demand, which makes it easier to accomplish the transition to clean energy.
Ecological economists acknowledge that this approach, known as degrowth, is likely to entail reducing aggregate economic activity as presently measured by GDP. While such a turn might seem inimical to human development, and indeed threaten to trigger a range of negative social consequences, proponents of degrowth argue that a planned reduction of throughput can be accomplished in high-income nations while at the same time maintaining and even improving people’s standards of living. Policy proposals focus on redistributing existing income, shortening the working week, and introducing a job guarantee and a living wage, while expanding access to public goods.
As debates unfold around what these policies might look like and how to implement them, here I step back to consider the deeper economic logic of degrowth theory. On the surface, degrowth sounds like an economics of scarcity, as many on both the right and left have been quick to allege. But in fact exactly the opposite is true. A long view of the history of capitalism reveals that growth has always depended on enclosure. The Lauderdale Paradox first articulated by James Maitland holds that an increase in “private riches” is achieved by choking off “public wealth”. This is done not only in order to acquire free value from the commons but also, I argue, in order to create an “artificial scarcity” that generates pressures for competitive productivity.
Degrowth seeks to invert the Lauderdale Paradox. By calling for a fairer distribution of existing resources and the expansion of public goods, degrowth demands not scarcity but rather abundance (see Sahlins, 1976; Galbraith, 1998; Latouche, 2014; D’Alisa et al., 2014). I build on this insight to show that such an approach not only embodies an alternative to a growth-oriented economy, but in fact offers an antidote to the driving mechanism of growth itself, thus releasing both humans and ecosystems from its grip. By advancing a theory of abundance, degrowth provides a feasible political pathway toward an ecological economy fit for the Anthropocene.
Malevolent authority, combined with a passive citizenry is the recipe for tyranny and so anti-authoritarians should not be feared or ostracized, they should be welcomed. They are the individuals who raise the alarm and awaken the slumbering masses to the existence of corrupt authority. A society without a healthy number of anti-authoritarians, or a society in which anti-authoritarians are shunned and silenced, is a society that has chosen the comfort of illusions, over the desire for truth, and is therefore a society paving the way for its own destruction. For as the 18th century French philosopher Voltaire cautioned:
“So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious or otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.” Voltaire