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Tag Archives: The dismal science

Michael Hudson and Dr. Jeffrey Miron of Cato Debate Capitalism

Yves here. We thought having Michael Hudson take issue with a conservative stalwart, Dr. Jeffrey Miron of Harvard and the Cato Institute, would make a good accompaniment to a weekend coffee. Produced by the Knowledge Problem Podcast [Intro] Welcome to the Knowledge Problem Podcast, the objective of this podcast is to engage policy professionals over thought provoking and sometimes sensitive topics. We aim to bring these professionals together in a way that does not feed the tribalistic...

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The Economics and Politics of Social Democracy: A Reconsideration

Yves here. This history of the decline of social democracy comes from a vantage that might strike readers as novel: that of economic policy and how that played out in politics. By Servaas Storm, Senior Lecturer of Economics, Delft University of Technology. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website Social democracy, the political force that shaped post-1945 Western Europe more than any other political movement, is in terminal decline—or so it appears. In recent...

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America’s Chilling Experiment in Human Sacrifice

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and Jeffrey L Spear, an Associate Professor of English at New York University where he teaches Victorian Studies, Victorian Literature, and Visual Culture. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website “There is no wealth but life.” — John Ruskin, Unto This Last (1860) A chilling experiment is underway in America, with plenty of unwilling human guinea pigs. Many parts of the...

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Waiting for “Rooseveltian Relief”: An Oversimplified Framework for the Employment Situation

I’ve always loved the term “Employment Situation,” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, because employment is indeed so often a “situation.” Like now, where the unemployment numbers are Great Depression-level (and probably undercounted, because of methodological issues at BLS and technical issues at the state level). Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says “the reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better.” It’s not clear that the lost jobs will come back. 42 million...

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Mass Unemployment Is a Failure of Capitalism

Yves here. While Wolff’s discussion of unemployment is useful, my favorite is Michal Kalecki’s classic esssay on the political obstacles to achieving full employment. If you have not previously read it, you must stop now and do so. Key section: We have considered the political reasons for the opposition to the policy of creating employment by government spending. But even if this opposition were overcome — as it may well be under the pressure of the masses — the maintenance of full employment...

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Don’t Do It Again! The Swedish Experience With Negative Central Bank Rates in 2015-2019

Yves here. It bears repeating that the Fed is not at all keen about negative interest rates. Indeed, it wasn’t even keen about super low interest rates once it realized they had been unproductive to counter-productive but given the weak recovery, the central bank also found it hard to back out of that corner. The Fed has even gone as far as grumbling about the ECB’s unseemly willingness to engage in negative interest rates. Needless to say, the Swedish experience (and its central bank’s...

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Is There Deflation or Inflation in Our Future?

Yves here. This article is particularly timely because some articles in the financial press were already onto the “ZOMG spending! Next inflation!” meme. While we’re already seeing shortage-induced price increases in some food items, that isn’t the same as broad-based inflation. Having said that, the one way we could get to inflation is if there is a massive loss of productive capacity, and the remaining people with money can bid up the comparatively small amount of output left. Recall that...

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Become a Manufacturing Powerhouse in 2020—An Economic Recipe for Our Times

Yves here. This post focuses on one set of policy objectives, which is the sudden desire of countries to become more self-sufficient, or more specifically, more of an autarky. One set of complicating factors with promoting more domestic manufacturing is that hardly any countries possess enough raw materials and engineering/technological prowess to pull that off. And I don’t mean people with STEM degrees; I mean people with practical know-how in running large operations. Ironically, Russia...

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The Coming Battle for the COVID-19 Narrative

Yves here. It would be welcome, and overdue, if COVID-19 were to wreak as much havoc with the “markets uber alles” as it has with with people’s lives. But if the elites can patch things together so as to suit them, we may instead see an even nastier version of the counter-revolution. Crises tend to favor strongmen over collective action. By Samuel Bowles, Research Professor and Director of the Behavioral Sciences Program, Santa Fe Institute, and Wendy Carlin, Professor of Economics, UCL;...

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The Use and Abuse of MMT

By Michael Hudson, with Dirk Bezemer, Steve Keen and T.Sabri Öncü Michael Hudson is a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is “and forgive them their debts”: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year Dirk Bezemer is a Professor of Economics at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands.. Steve Keen is a Professor and...

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