"The Eastern parable, Indra's Net, tells the story of
a clestial net that extends infinitely in all directions. At each intersection,
where the strands of the net cross, resides a sparkling jewel. Upon close inspection, however, the sparkle
in each jewel is merely the light reflection of all the other jewels in the net. There is no singel, ultimate source of light."
"Capitalism is a system that relies almost exclusively on the institutions of private property, money, and the market system; a system that needs to grow in defiance of our dwindling resource base and the limited carrying capacity of our planet; and a system in which the majority have little or no say in what, how, or for whom production takes place. It is a system in which the power and freedom to choose or make demands in the marketplace is held only by those with money and excludes those who are withnout it. In our view, the long-term consequences of such a system are profound and the need for change is becoming increasingly exigent. Just as phlebotomy bled the sick, the planet and its inhabitants are being bled of their vitality by pathological economic systems.
A mindful economy, by contrast, is a system in which economic activity is rooted in democratic institutions, socially controlled by an active citizenry, and shaped by the values of people in their communities. Democracy is a central feature of a mindful economy as a path toward directly meeting the needs of people and communities. As it is rooted in the core values of environmental sustainability, economic justice, and stability, a mindful economy is necessarily set apart from captialism. As the mindful economy breaks away from its capitalist heritage to become a truly democratic system, citizens must play a central role as agents for instiutional change" ~ Joel Magnuson
" The Rise of Neoliberalism
The New Deal was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's attempt to save capitalism as the Great Depression of the 1930s was destroying the hopes and lives of citizens. He also saw unrest among organized labor, socialist and communist parties, and reasoned that this could lead to a revolution. This prospect scared him, as well as a portion of the wealthy who supported most of the changes FDR proposed: higher taxes for the wealthy and social programs by the government to give hope and jobs to the unemployed. As humane as these programs were, none of them were concerned with ending exploitation or supporting worker control in decision-making. They were focused on minimizing the anger of the working class and saving capitalism.
FDR's Keynesian approach of government intervention and regulation was a reaction to the previous "hands-off" policy of our government toward the capitalist market system, which brought on the Depression. It seemed to work, eventually making the US the dominant and most successful economic power in the world. The World War that followed destroyed the United States' industrial and trade rivals for years, giving the US a competitive edge. The war also reduced US unemployment by sending off millions to the military, while putting millions more to work in factories supporting the war effort.
The reaction by the other portion of the wealthy -- the "economic royalists," FDR's name for those rich who didn't go along with his program -- was to systematically tear down the programs of the New Deal. Some even promoted a military coup as early as 1934. The royalists were not effective until the 1970s and '80s. The Keynesian approach began to lose its effect due to the successful competition and growing economic might of Japan and Western Europe, and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil shock that created a panic at the gas pumps and raised the cost of energy. In order to be more competitive, US companies began to outsource industry and find cheaper labor across the world. This led to a loss of manufacturing, an increase in unemployment, the growth of the Rust Belt in the 1980s and an increase in prisons.
This economic crisis opened the door to the return of the "economic royalists," represented by the growing power of the conservative movement and the presidency of Ronald Reagan in the '80s. The Reagan administration mobilized and promoted a heartless formulation of capitalism: neoliberalism. This was a model based on replacing the state with the market as a way to coordinate the economy. It stood for a world in which human relationships are forced to conform to an ideal of economic competition. The individual is transformed from a citizen into an independent economic actor. Under the regimes of President Reagan in the US and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the UK, neoliberalism led to massive tax cuts for the rich, the destruction of trade unions, a growing inequality of wealth, deregulation, privatization, unemployment and the decline of public services -- with the exception of prisons and the military-industrial complex.
The main principles of neoliberalism are:
The rule of the free market around the world from restrictions imposed by government (also known as globalization).
The cutback of money spent for social services (also known as austerity).
The reduction of government regulations for everything that could hamper profits.
The privatization of government ventures leaving wealth in a few private hands.
The focus on individual responsibility over that of the public good.
Tax reductions for corporations and the wealthy." ~G.B.~
"... This is the nature of human inquiry- always exciting in what we learn and always frustrating in the limits of what we can know. This is captured in the philosopher Karl Popper's definnition of theory, these systematic attempts at explanation that we humans create: "theories are nets cast to catch what we call 'the world': to rationalize, to explain, and master it. We endeavor to make the mesh ever finer and finer." Complex questions await when one delves deeper into the philosophy of science or the specific methods of a discipline. Making the mesh finer is both wondrously, and maddeningly, complicated. My goal has been to sketch an approach to intellectural work that is simple without being simplistic, that captures the potential and the limmits of our knowledg. From here, we will confront the inevitavly political nature of our attempts to understand the world." ~ Robert Jensen ~
"The problem with describing a post carbon economy is that such a thing does not yet exist. Uncertainty abounds as the once thriving global economy is literally running out of gas and none of us can be sure what will come next. We can, however, be certain about one thing: the primary measures of success - economic growth, and monetary accumulation - will sooner or later become obsolete. When that happens, everything will change. As we shift away from perpetual growth, we will find ourselves trying to stay afloat in uncharted waters. The way we produce and consume things, our values, our aspirations, and our government policies, and pretty much everything else will undergo a transformation. The transition is not going to be easy, and this provably why so many of us believe that we need to do things differently - only to fall back on variations of business as usual. Many others still will mock true visions for change as idealistic dreaming and cling to cynical notion that people will never change even if the world compels them to. This notion is neither helpful not true. Everything in the world around us is in a state of impermanence and transformation. Even during the shortest imaginable stretches of time nothing remains absolutely constant except perhaps our comforting illusion that it does. Meanwhile we are pulled deeper into a vortex of social crises as the limitations fo our physical world render business as usual and peace an impossible combination. Yet our societies at large keep pretending that it is not an impossible combination even when evidence to the country is staring everyone straight in the face. As the old saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Flux, transformation, and impermanence are real and immutable, but what is also certain is that we want to survive, we need to change how we approach change. In light of that, I want to urge caution. We need to be cautious about throwing ourselves into the next big movement that is going to shake the world, or behind the next charismatic political leader who comes along with promises to save us all. It is never that simple. Old systems do not suddenly vanish nor do new systems suddenly burst into the world like a volcanic eruption. Rather, the populations of the world are experiencing an evolutionary transformation in which the current system is becoming increasingly fragmented and anomalous and giving ways to something new. Renewal and disintegration are both parts of the same process transformation. But transformation is slow and gradual. As we aspire to play a meaningful role in this process, each of us must begin taking purposeful steps in the direction we want to see for our future without being overly preoccupied with immediate results." ~ Joel Magnuson ~
As I began to study the American economy in college and then graduate school in the 1960s,
I learned that capitalism had changed greatly since roughly the end of World War II.
The family of an averaage blue collar worker could now live in moderate comfort on one income, with strong labor unions bringing
job security and reasonable working conditions. Most workers lived in priivate homes with yards insead of tenements,
possessing a car an some even a recreational boat. Those who did not find success in the labor market could turn to gorvernment
social welfare prorams. Of course, not everyuone shared in this progress. Poverty declined but was not eliminated, the incomes of minorities
remained below that of white Americans, and women were paid less than men. However, it apppeared that real progress was being made toward
a more just economic order.
No one knew that the prosperity and relaive security of the era were not to last forever. After an economically troubled decade in the 1970s, tradically the U.S. economy changed radically. After around 1980 many former trends went into reverse. The first sign of the change was that suddenly one did not have to visit New York City's Bowery to see homeless people- they appeared in growing numboers on the streets of every major city. Although of course conditions did not fall to nineteenth-century levels, wages now declined over time instead of rising every year. Families had difficulty making ends meet with two wage earners rather than just one. Pressure at work grew while job security plummeted. Most of the good industrial jobs fled the country. The social safety net was cut back. Public services, including public education, were squeezed year after year. Art and music shrank or disappeared in the schools, with physical education not far behind. The gap between the rich and rest of society grew rapidly."
~ David Kotz
" Markets did create an environment in which technology blossomed. This form of economy brought previously
unimagined wonders of convenience and comfort to the well-off. Few among us would willingly abandon all the
fruits of modern technology and take up the lifestyle of yore.
Even so, when we look around us we have to admit our society could do far better with resources and its disposal. Why should the vast majority of the world's population be reduced to squander? Why should society squander massive amounts of wealth on armaments, which are all too often brutally used? Why would society continue to wantonly ravage the environment? I am sure that you could continue this list of questions o n your own with hundreds , if not thousands, of your entries.
Following our list of questions, you might expect to find a proposal for a better world. In fact, we have many library shelves filled with such recommendations, often filed under the subheading; "Utopia", a Greek word meaning "nowhere". Utopias are nowhere and go nowhere because they spring from an individual mind. A utopian author tells us, "Here is the way I want to see the world". Unless the utopian author's vision happens to coincide with the desire of the rest of society, or at least enough of society to challenge the powers that be, the utopian words will soon be confined to a few dusty library shelves.
I am not a utopian, I don't pretend to have a road map that can guide you to the future. I can say that our present economy is inadequate and that changes are afoot the will make it more so. I do know that our present economic thinking precludes us from commencing on the hard and joyous work of building a better world in which the economy will not continue to produce for the narrow interest of those who control capital. I the spirit, I call for the end of economics and beginning of something better" ~ Michael Perelman ~
"The operation of the Fed contibutes to widening inequality by facilitating the abormal swelling of the financial sector as well as by its specific policies. The Fed is handmaiden to the surge of finance to 9percent of the economy (an all-tiume high). Finance made up 10 to 15 percent of profits in the 1950s and 1960s; by 20001, the proportion was close to 40 percent and probably substantially larger, after accounting for executive compensation in the finacial sector and changes in coporate accoutning. With the Fed's babysitting, the drive to earn outsized profits in finance is also crowding out more productive sectorus; exchnaging capital to generate interest, dividends, or capitalgains pays more than the famuiliar production and trading of goods and sevices. And economic growth and job creation suffer. Imagine the choice of a scientisit or a brilliant college granduate:.... That loud sucking sound you hear is Wall Street inhaling talent and capital, it costs our economy 2 percent of growth each year or $320 billion- more than three times what the federal government spent on ecucaton in 2014." ~Authors~
"Quantity rules absolute in the capitalist system. Qualitative social relations, including those with the natural conditions of life,
are not part of it's system of accountantcy...." ~ "The Ecological Rift" ~
"The strength of the idea of private enterprise lies in its terrifying simplicity . It suggests that the toatality of life can be reduced to one aspect- profits..... And profit by it's nature is quantitaive inccrease." ~ E.F. Schumacker ~
"Of all the aspects of globalization, the liberation of capital from regulatory constraint or supervision has had the most profound consequences. The drastic reduction of taxation on upper incomes in the U.S. created ever-larger pools of savings seeking higher returns in global markets than those prevailing domestically. Returns on portfolio investments and the opportunities for capital gains exceeded profits from investment in non-financial enterprise: corporations moved assets from production to finance. Iconic companies, once providing thousands of decent -mostly unionized- jobs, engaged in downsizing, subcontracting and outsourcing to cheaper labour locations to boost shareholder value and compete on stock markets with financial service industries. General Electric, once known for its heavy engineering and production of household durables, is now among the top financial corporations and owns on the handful of major U.S. mass communication networks. From the mid-1980s to 200000, the share of financial corporations in total corporate profits increased from 16 to 40 percent in the U.S." ~Kari Polanyi Levitt~
"Wall Street's impact on Washington goes deeper than just the personal relations between financiers and policy makers; there was a deep and mutual dependence from 2001-2007. The government depended on access to domestic and international finance to underwrite it's own borrowing as deficits grew; the private sector's vibrancy similarly depended on a continued flow of funds from and through the world's financial institutions. The influence of financial markets on government policy stems largely from finance's central; position in the contemporary American economy- a reality that led Democratic strategist James Carville to remark that if there is reincarnation, "I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody." None of this rules out the possibility of purposive manipulation of the political process by self-interested bankers- there is is a long history of that- but even in the absence of anything conspiratorial, the American political economy was increasingly centered around the financial services, insurance and real estate complex". ~ Menzie Chinn and Jeffry Friedman ~
"As it turns out, we think debt is dangerous. If this correct,
and large increases in household debt really do generate severs recessions, we must fundamentally rethink the financial system.
One of the main purposes of financial markets is to help people in the economy share risk. The financial system offers many
products that reduce risk: life insurance, a portfolio of stocks, or put options on a major index. Households need a sense of
security that they are protected against unforeseen events.
A financial system that thrives on the massive use of debt by households does exactly what we don't want it do - it concentrates risk squarely on the debtor. We want the financial system to insure us against shocks like a decline in house prices. But instead,as we will show, it concentrates the losses on home owners. The financial system actually works against us, not for us." ~ Atif Mian and Amir Sufi ~
"SPECULATION, INEQUALITY, AND UNNECESSARY CREDIT"
"Demonstrating that an exchange economy is coherent and stable does not demonstrate that the same is true of an economy with capitalist financial institutions." ~Hyman P. Minsky~
"A giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produce wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effectiv e demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped." ~ Mariner Eccles ~
"The classical meaning of crisis is turning point. The economic turbulence and social hardships that crises bring with them are in evidence everywhere one looks, with a decade of economic restructuring and austerity being suggested by the powers that be. But apart from undermining the mythology of self-regulating markets that has been so integral to the ideology of neoliberalism, has this crisis actually marked a turning point in the balance of class power and the organization of the state? Or can the political alliances and power structures that have dominated the last decades be re-assembled in what so clearly has been a monumental crisis of their own making? Crises pose these kinds of sharp political questions, and that is precisely why they are defining historical moments. The key to understanding crises as they are played out in history does not lie in the amount of capital destroyed in a recession, in the volume of credit created as capital accumulation sputters and then re-starts, or in this or that policy innovation, buy in the class politics and struggles that block, permit and execute various strategies to advance material interests.This book will investigate some these class strategies in the making of the financial crisis and in shaping the struggles out of the crisis." ~ Authors ~
"This book is an appeal to the public to think again.
Austerity means collapse - the collapse of the social contract within the United States and the collapse of U.S. military hegemony abroad. The ultimate consequences of that scenario and unpredictable, but certain to be dire.
That course is unnecessary and avoidable. Our economic system requires credit expansion in order to generate economic growth. The household sector cannot bear any additional debt, but the government sector can. Of government spending is to be sustainable, however, the government must change the way it sends. Rather than spending trillions of dollars each year in a manner that only boosts consumption, the government must begin to invest in large-scale projects that can generate a return. The government can now borrow at 2 percent interest. If it borrows at 2 percent, invests and earns 3 percent, our national emergency will lessen. If it borrow at 2 percent and invest in transformative mega-projects, such as the development of solar energy this crisis will be overcome and prosperity for the next generation will be assured.
The economic system that has grown out the adoption of fiat money is new. It is different from what came before. It is not capitalism. We have not yet learned how it works. Its weaknesses have become glaringly apparent. Yet we are ignoring the possibilities it presents. What a tragic mistake it would be to impose austerity and our world implode, when so much is available a ultra low cost. All that is required is for , as a society, to invest the credit imaginatively. If we do, we can achieve global economics prosperity beyond the dreams of all earlier generations." ~ Richard Duncan ~
"... Marx built his entire critique of political economy in large part around the contradiction between use value and exchange value, indicating that this was one of the key components of his argument in Capital. Under capitalism, he insisted, nature was rapaciously mined for the sake of exchange value: 'The earth is the reservoir, from whose bowels the use-values are to be torn.' This stance was closely related to Marx's attempt to look at the capitalist economy simultaneously in terms of its economic-value relations and its material transformations of nature. Thus Marx was the first major economist to incorporate the new notions of energy and entropy, emanating from the first and second laws of thermodynamics, into his analysis of production. This can be seen in his treatment of the metabolic rift - the destruction of the metabolism between human beings and the soil, brought on by the shipment of food and fiber to the city, where nutrients withdrawn from the soil, instead of returning to the earth, ended up polluting their and water. In this conception, both nature and labor were robbed, since both were deprived of conditions vital for the reproduction: not 'fresh air' and water but 'polluted' air and water, Marx argued, had become the mode of existence of the worker." ~ "Ecological Rift" ~
"The 'ecological rift' referred to in the title of this book is the rift between humanity and nature. The world is really one indivisible whole. The rift that threatens to tear apart and destroy that whole is a product of artificial divisions within humanity, alienating us from the material-natural conditions of our existence and from succeeding generations. Our argument, in brief, is that a deep chasm has opened up in the metabolic relation between human beings and nature- metabolism that is the basis of life itself. The source of this unparalleled crisis in the capitalist society in which we live. Ironically, most analysis of the environmental problem today are concerned less with saving the planet or life or humanity than saving, capitalism - the system at the root of our environmental problems." ~ The authors ~
"...Costco is not an offfender so much as a bellwether, indicating Americans are heading in two directions at once They accepted efficiency as the soul of what it means to be green, but they have not yet recognized a biophysical limit on the quantity of their consumption. The end of growth will not mean the end of progress, to the extent that we can redefind progress as consisting of something othen than accumulation. Instead, we accept our limitations, view progress as the creation of efficiency rather than wealth, and work for just institutions even when lean times come." ~ Steven Stoll
"Unlike mainstream economists, political economists have always tried to situate the study of economics with in the broader project of understanding how society functions. However, during the second half of the twentieth century dissatisfaction with the traditional political economy theory of social change known as historical materialism increased to the point where many modern political economists and social activists no longer espouse it, and most who still call themselves historical materialists have modified their theory considerably to accommodate insights about the importance of gender relations, race relations, and the 'human factor' in understanding social stability and social change . The 'liberating theory' presented briefly in this chapter attempts to transcend historical materialism without throwing out the baby with the bath water It incorporates insights from feminism, national liberation and antiracist movements, and anarchism as well as from mainstream psychology, sociology, and evolutionary biology where useful. liberating theory attempts to understand the relationships between economic, political, kinship and cultural activities, and the forces behind social stability and social change, in a way that neither over nor underestimates the importance of human agency compared to social forces." ~Robin Hahnel ~
"The dominant ideology both reified working peeople in this way, reduced them to abstracted body-parts while denying
their significance in the creation of wealth and society. In a classic process of mystification, the driving force of capitalism was
detached from the actural hands of labour and attributed to the 'invisible hand' of the market. By returning capitalism to the
realities of the (grotesque) labouring body, Frankenstein fore-grounded the processes of social anatomisation by which people became 'hands',
and through which the invisible hands of labour simultaneously generated the wealth of the ruling class. Despite this critical thrust,
however, and despite rendering the proletarian monster as intelligent and articulate, as something other than a zombie, Mary Shelley,
too recoiled from the ugliness of the proletarinan monster that capitalism had created. But working-class radicals, among them those who
supported papers like 'Gogon' and 'Meduusa', were already affiriming proletarian monstrosity. In so doing, they shifted the dialectic
of monstrosity in a direction that would be claimed by Marx."
~ David McNally ~
In any liberating pedagogy, students become the subjects and the actors in constructing their own educations,
not simply the objects of a regime of discipline and punishment. Instead of credentialing, sorting, gate-keeping, and controlling, education
should enable all stdents to become smarter, more capable of negotiating our shared and complex world, better able to work effectively
in and across communities to innovate and initiate with courage and creativity. This requires courage and determination- from teachers, families,
communities, and studens- to build alternative and insurgent classrooms and schools and community spaces focused on what we know we need rather
than what we are told we must endure. We must transform education from rote boredom and endlessly alienating routines into something
that is eye-poping and mind-blowing - always opening doors and opening minds and opening hearts as students forge their own pathways
into an expansive world.
Knowledge is an inherently public good, something that can be reproduced at little or no cost. Like love, it's generative: the more you have, the better off you become; the more your give away, the more you have. Offering knowledge and learning and education to others diminishes nothing. In a flourishing democray, knowledge would be shared without any reservation or restriction whatsoever. This points us toward and education that could be about full human development, enlightenment, and freedom." ~ Mat Callahan ~
"The Social Structure of Accumulation (SSA) approach provides a new way to analyze the structure and development of capitalist economies and societies. The term SSA refers to the complex of institutions which support the process of capital accumulation. The central idea of the SSA approach is that a long period of relatively rapid and stable economic expansion requires an effective SSA. While an SSA promotes growth and stability for a period of time, eventually the SSA decays. A period of stagnation and instability follows until a new SSA can be built. The SSA includes political and cultural institutions as well as economic ones. The institutions comprising an SSA include both domestic and international arrangements. The domestic institutions may include the state of labor- management relations; the organization of the work process; the character of industrial organization; the role of money and banking and their relation to industry; the role of the state in the economy; the line-up of political parties; the state of race and gender relations; and the character of the dominant culture and ideology. The international institutions may concern the trade, investment, monetary-financial, and political environments. The development of the SSA approach was motivated by at least three analytical concerns: historical, comparative, and programmatic. An historical concern suggests that individual capitalist economic systems, and the world system of which each is a part, go through periodic booms and periodic times of trouble. These alternating periods have been called "long swings." These long swings appear to be associated with the bunching of institutional changes, which take place in a discontinuous manner. Such patterns require an explanation. The SSA approach is not directed only at the problem of uneven economic expansion and discontinuous institutional change over time. It is also concerned with differences between the economic systems of various capitalist nations. The comparative concern suggests that, contrary to the view of traditional neoclassical economics, institutions and social structure make a difference to the functioning of economic systems. While Japan, Germany, the United States, Sweden and South Africa are all market-oriented capitalist economies, their structures and performances also differ considerably from one another. To explain these different outcomes, we need a theory that incorporates the institutional differences among the capitalist countries. A programmatic policy concern asks how new institutions develop and are consolidated. Why do some attempts to reform and transform the economy and social structure meet considerable success, while others have only a limited impact, and still others fail completely? We need a theory that can help answer these questions. The SSA approach frames our understanding of many contemporary debates. Does Europe suffer from a rigidity sometimes called "Eurosclerosis," which compares unfavorably to a "flexible" US capitalism? Has Japan developed a style of business management that is superior to that of other industrialized capitalist economies? Can a nation make a choice between a low-wage, low- skill development path and a high-wage, high-skill one? Did Thatcherism in Britain and Reaganomics in the US resolve the problems that had been plaguing the British and American economies, creating the basis for sustained and healthy economic growth - or, on the contrary, are Britain and America still awaiting the creation of an effective institutional framework for economic expansion? Historical background of the SSA approach In the late 1960s and early 1970s, severe economic problems returned both to the United States and to international capitalism, after nearly twenty-five years of rapid and stable postwar economic growth. High unemployment, rapid inflation, and international monetary instability undermined the complacent belief that capitalism had outgrown its crisis-ridden youth. As the 1970s wore on, the failure of Keynesian interventionist techniques to bring back prosperity grew increasingly obvious. The ground was prepared for the development of new theories seeking to explain the alternation of long periods of prosperity of stagnation and instability. In 1978, a year of surging inflation and chaos in world currency markets, David Gordon (1978) introduced the idea of an SSA explanation of economic crisis. He argued that capital accumulation must be based upon certain institutional requirements. The SSA is the "full set of integrated institutions ... necessary for individual capitalist accumulation to continue"(p.27). Expanding his argument two years later, Gordon (1980) criticized other theories of the rhythm of capital accumulation as attempting "to account for alternating periods of economic prosperity and stagnation without properly considering the connections between the structure and contradictions of the social relations conditioning capital accumulation and the "purely" economic dynamics through which long cycles appear to manifest themselves"(p.10). The key to these alternating periods is to be found in the successive creation, and construction anew of SSAs. The SSA approach achieved its definitive form with Gordon, Edwards, and Reich's Segmented Work, Divided Workers (1982). This volume had several advantages over the earlier articles. It was more easily accessible to a broad readership. It applied the SSA framework to the analysis of a century and a half of the development of capital-labor relations in the US, demonstrating the utility and analytical power of the framework. It broadened the concern of the SSA approach beyond the initial focus on uneven economic growth to encompass the analysis of institutional innovation, consolidation, and decay. In Gordon et al. (1982) the dynamics behind the successive periods of growth and stagnation are located squarely in the construction and breakdown of the SSA. In Gordon's earlier work, both traditional Marxian crisis tendencies and the echo effects of infrastructure investment booms (an idea found in Kondratieff) play a role in the termination of a period of prosperous expansion. Gordon et al. (1982) are still concerned with developing a largely endogenous theory of crisis. However, they do this, not by focusing exclusively on economic factors that normally underlie endogenous crisis theories, but by expanding their analysis to encompass political and idealogical institutions alongside the economic. Thus, the SSA framework brings politics, ideology, and culture into the heart of the theory of economic growth and crisis. Several intellectual traditions have been influential in the development of the SSA approach. A number of central concepts come from the Marxian tradition, particularly from the Marxian theories of historical materialism, exploitation and surplus, and economic crisis. These include the interdependence of the economic, political, and ideological aspects of a society; the idea that the development of a system tends over time to undermine that system; a stress on class conflict and the exercise of class power as key determinants of social and economic development of capitalist society. However, the SSA approach differs from much of the Marxian literature, in the formers's emphasis on the importance of non-economic factors, the absence of any inevitable tendency for capitalism to be superseded by socialism, and the rejection of any single mechanistic cause of economic crises. Keynesian thought also influenced the SSA approach. The basic conception of the relation between the SSA and the investment decision draws upon the Keynesian concept of the uncertainty attendant upon investment decisions in a capitalist economy. An SSA encourages investment by creating greater stability and predictability. However, the SSA approach rejects the traditional Keynesian focus on demand problems to the exclusion of supply problems. In fact, most analyses of the recent problems of capitalism utilizing the SSA approach emphasize problems of cost and supply rather than demand. Another influence has been the institutionalist tradition in American economics, descended from the work of Thorstein Veblen and John R. Commons early in the twentieth century. As the name suggests, institutionalists emphasize careful study of institutions and their relation to economic behavior. Shunning a priori theorizing, institutionalists expect the specific features of an economy, and the character of typical economic behavior, to differ across time and place. They study the historical evolution of economic systems over time. All of these features of traditional institutionalism are found in the SSA approach. However, the SSA school differs from traditional institutionalism in its greater openness to broad generalizations about economic development. The long-wave theories pioneered by Kondratieff(1935) and Schumpeter (1939) influenced the development of SSA theory, particularly in Gordon's early work. The concept of an SSA first emerged out of the effort to account for long swings in macroeconomic activity, and both Gordon, in his early work, and Gordon et al. felt it necessary to make a case for the existence of such long swings. However, over time the work of the SSA school has placed less stress on explaining the recurrence of relatively regular long-term macroeconomic fluctuations, and it has not accepted the economic and technological determinism associated with the long-wave theoretical tradition. The unifying theme of the SSA approach is the importance of institutions in the economic process. Yet it must be emphasized that the precise form that institutions take in particular countries is not specified by the general SSA approach. While SSA theorists have written about the particular institutions that have made up the SSAs of the United States (for example, peaceful collective bargaining and a welfare state in the postwar era), it does not follow that the same institutions make up the SSAs of postwar Japan or South Africa. Any mechanical transfer of the SSA approach from the United States to another country and period is bound to be inadequate. A specific analytical and historical undertaking is required in order to theorize the particular insititutions comprising the SSA of a specific country and period. ", The Authors of "SSA..."
"What I am seeking here is a better understanding of the contradictions of capital, not of Capitalism. I want to know how the economic engine of capitalism works the way it does, and why it might stutter and stall and sometimes appear to be on the verge of collapse. I also want show why this economic engine should be replaced, and with what." ~ David Harvey ~
"This book is about capital flow. Capital is the lifeblood that flows through the body politic of all those societies we call capitalist, spreading out, sometimes as a trickle and other times as a flood, in to every nook and cranny of the inhabited world. it is thanks to this flow that we, who live under capitalism, acquire daily bread as well as our houses, cars, cell phones, shirts, shoes and all the other goods we need to support out daily life. By the way of these flows the wealth is created from which the man services that support, entertain , educate, resuscitate or clean se us are provided. By taxing this flow states augment their power, their military might and their capacity to ensure an adequate standard of life for their citizens for their citizens. Interrupt, slow down or, even worse, suspend the flow and we encounter a crisis of capitalism in which daily life can no long go on in the style t which we have become accustomed. Understanding the capital flow, its winding pathways and the strange logic of its behaviour is therefore crucial to our understanding of the conditions under which we live." ~ David Harvey ~
""Something happened on the Way to the Twenty-First Century: Mainstream economic theory is based on a paradigm that dates back to the eighteenth century, and critics argue that is part of the problem. The world was a very different place when a Scottish moral philosopher wandered the grounds of the University of Glasgow in absent-minded reverie, thinking thoughts that would launch a new economic discipline that was called "political economy" before becoming simply "economics". When Adam Smith published 'An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of nations in 1776, there were less than 800 million people roaming the earth, only the indigenous tribes and handful of French Canadian trappers had any ideas what lay between the Mississippi River and the Pacific coast of North America, and Captain James Cook, spurred on by a British Admiralty reward of 20,000 pounds, was searching in vain off the coast of Alaska for a Northwest Passage back to the Atlantic Ocean. With the exception of small parts of China, India, and Europe, the world was a mostly empty place when the discipline of economics was launched. No wonder Adam Smith believed the value of goods and services was determined entirely by the amount of labor it took to produce them and integrated the opportunity costs of using natural resources into his explanation of prices. No wonder it never dawned on Adam Smith that there might be effects on people other buyers and sellers of producing and consuming the goods they bartered over in market exchanges. In a largely empty world, neither resource exhaustion nor effects on external parties were likely to be to concerns for creative minds trying to unravel the important economic conumdrums of their day." ~Robin Hahnel ~
"Of all the sciences, political economy is that which to civilized men of to-day is of most practical importance. For it is the science which treats of the nature of wealth and the laws of its production and distribution; that is to say, of matters which absorb the larger part of the thought and effort of the vast majority of us- the getting of a living. It includes in its domain the greater part of those vexed questions which lie at the bottom of our politics and legislation, of our social and governmental theories, and even in larger measure that may at first be supposed, of our philosophies and religions. It is the science to which must belong the solving of problems that at the close of a century of the greatest material and scientific development the world has yet seen are in all civilized countries clouding the horizon of the future- the only science that can enable our civilization to escape already threatening catastrophe." ~ Henry George (1898) ~
"Our purpose in this inquiry is to solve the problem to which so many self-contradictory answers are given. In ascertaining clearly what capital really is and what capital really does , we have made the, and an important step. But it is only a first step. Let us recapitulate and proceed. We have seen that the current theory that wages depend upon the relation between the number of laborers and the amount of capital devoted to the employment of labor is inconsistent with the general face that wages and interest do not rise and fall inversely, but conjointly. This discrepancy having led us to an examination of the grounds of the theory, we have seen, further, that, contrary to the current idea, wages are not drawn from capital at all, but come directly from the produce of the labor for which they are paid. We seen that capital does not advance wages or subsist laborers, but that its functions are to assist labor in production with tools, seed, etc., and with the wealth required to carry on exchanges. We are thus irresistibly led to practical conclusions so important as amply to justify the pains taken to make sure of them. For if wages are drawn, not from capital, but from the produce of labor the current theories as to the relations of capital and labor are invalid , and all remedies, whether proposed by professors of political economy or workingmen, which look to the alleviation of poverty either by the increase of capital or the restriction of the laborers or the efficiency of their work, must be condemned." ~ Henry George (1879) ~
"Economics, as it is taught in our great universities, is structured in such a way that it cannot address .... significant problems with markets. I do not pretend to offer some simple crackpot reform that will magically solve all economic problems. Instead, I intend to expose economics as a pseudo-science that stands in the way of human betterment in the hope that we can develp new practices and better institutions that will allow us to manage our lives in a more satisfactory manner. I do not believe that the end of economics signals a time of suffering and hardship. No! On the contrary, the end of economics foreshadows a welcome revolution in our lives. Factories will continue churn out products that will sustain and enrich our lives, but we will radically alter the way in which we decide when or how to invest in new factories, offices, or stores. I also look forward to a time when we will also be able to run these operations in a superior fashion. I realize that may perpective runs against the grain of the prevaliling view about the nature of the economy. I can only as that you hear me out." ~ Michael Perelman ~
"Of all the critiques of mainstream economics- Third World, feminist, Austrian, radical, Georgist, Marxist and others- the one our grandkids would have us heed most is the ecological critique. The ecological critique says that mainstream economics has ignored some extremely important scientific principles that are especially relevant to economic growth in the 21st century. These principles, taken together, make it abundantly clear that there are limits to population growth and to the production and consumption of goods and services, no matter how efficiently we try to produce and consume. In other words, these principles make it clear that there is a limit to economic growth. Therefore, an full world in pursuit of economic growth finds itself in violation of the laws of nature and is penalized accordingly., As they say, "Nature bats last." Unfortunately, the penalties will be most severe for the grandkids, and this will be supremely unfair because the grandkids will have had no say in the formulation of our economic goals. " ~ Brian Czech ~
" In our time, it is the facts themselves that are more than a little wild and that constitute an assault on unthinking economic dogma. We need words in the various 'State of the World' reports: 1. There is a hole in the earth' protective shield of ozone. 2. There is evidence that the CO2 -induced greenhouse effect has already caused perceptible warming of the globe. 3. Biodiversity is declining as rates of species extinction increase. All of these facts appear to us to be related in one way or another to one central underlying fact: the scale of human activity relative to the biosphere has grown too large.... over the same time period, gross world product and fossil fuel consumption have each roughly quadrupled. Further growth beyond the present scale is overwhelmingly likely to increase costs more rapidly than it increases benefits, thus ushering in a new era of 'uneconomic growth' that impoverishes rather than enriches. This is the fundamental fact that so far has not found expression in words sufficiently feral to assault successful the civil stupor of economic discourse. Indeed, contrary to Keynes, it seems that the wildness of either words or facts is nowadays taken as clear evidence of untruth. Moral concern is 'unscientific'. Statement of fact is 'alarmist.'" ~ H.E. Daly and J.B.Cobb,Jr. ~
"... The economiic orthodoxy in use around the world is not up to the challenge. The core of this orthodoxy is a strategy that has snared all nations, from China to Chile, from the United States to the United Arab Emirates, from Switzerland to Swaziland. That strategy, the pursuit of never-ending economic growth, has become dysfunctional. With each passing day, we are witnessing more and more uneconomic growth. An economy that chases perpetually increasing production and consumption, always in search of more, stands no chance of achieving a lasting prosperity. The 7 billion of us have to do better, and we'd better do better soon. We need to find ways to reverse the climate change we've set in motion and halt the extinction crisis. At the same time we have eradicate poverty and erase the divide between the haves and the have-nots.Now is the time to change the goal from the madness of more to the ethic of enough, to accept the limits to growth and build an economy that meets our needs without undermining the life-support systems of the planet.... It's a hopeful assignment, this business of figuring out how to change the ecomomic paradigm from more to enough. If we can successfully harness our know-how for the job of remaking our economic institutions, we'll commennce a process of healing-healing degraded ecological systems, healing relationships with our neighbors, and healing the of people who been left behind by the current economic system. Historians will mark the effort as a turning point, a singular and triumphant achievement shared by all." ~ Rob. Dietz & Dan O'Neilo~
"Especially since the end of the Cold War and the easing of any threat of a competing ideology, an increasingly unregulated global capitalistic economy, as developed most enthusiastically in the United States, has dismantled decades -old institutions and structures that had previously succeeded at more evenly distributing prosperity and reducing market abuses. The current system operates on the assumption that the earth's environment is a subset of the human economy, and the earth belongs to humans. If these are the assumptions, it makes sense to transfer as much of the earth's natural capital as possible into the engines of the industrial economy. These assumptions, though, are fantastically at odds with scientific reality; human culture and its economic goals are, in pure scientific face, a subset of the earth's environment and resources, and humanity is only one of millions of species that depend on them." ~ Peter G. Brown and Geoffrey Garver
"And what, friends, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering? It is just this Nobel Eightfold Path; that is, Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration" The word translated as "right" does not imply a judgment about who or what is good and who is bad in any absolute or moralistic sense. The statement is about the road to freedom - about the power of cause and effect. Will a certain action, way of communicating, or quality of mind lead toward the cessation of suffering? If so,it is "correct" or "right"- meaning that the action, view, speech, or other aspect of life is effective and efficient in moving us toward freedom." ~ Insight Dialogue ~
"From the Buddhist point of view, there are therefore two types of mechanisation which must be clearly distinguished: one that enhances a man’s skill
and power and one that turns the work of man over to a mechanical slave, leaving man in a position of having to serve the slave. How to tell the one from the
other? “The craftsman himself,” says Ananda Coomaraswamy, a man equally competent to talk about the modern West as the ancient East, “can always, if allowed
to, draw the delicate distinction between the machine and the tool. The carpet loom is a tool, a contrivance for holding warp threads at a stretch for the
pile to be woven round them by the craftsmen’s fingers; but the power loom is a machine, and its significance as a destroyer of culture lies in the fact
that it does the essentially human part of the work.”5 It is clear, therefore, that Buddhist economics must be very different from the economics of modern
materialism, since the Buddhist sees the essence of civilisation not in a multiplication of wants but in the purification of human character. Character, at the
same time, is formed primarily by a man’s work. And work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally
their products. The Indian philosopher and economist J. C. Kumarapp sums the matter up as follows:
If the nature of the work is properly appreciated and applied, it will stand in the same relation to the higher faculties as food is to the physical body. It nourishes and enlivens the higher mam and urges him to produce the best he is capable of. It directs his free will along the proper course and disciplines the animal in him into progressive channels. It furnishes an excellent background for man to display his scale of values and develop his personality." ~ E.F. Schumacher ~
"We live in complicated times. We have far more problems than solutions,
and most of our prpblems are wickedly complex.
That said, it's sometimes the case that a simple idea can spark
profound changes, much as a small wind can becme a hurricane. This happened with ideas as the abolition of slavery,
equal justice under law, universal suffrage, and racial and sexual equality. This book about another simple idea that
could have comparable effects in the twenty-first century.
The idea is that all persons
have a right to income from wealth we inherit or create togehter. That right derives
from our equality of birth. And the time to implement it has arrived."
"We can't shop our way to sustainability because the problems we face cannot be solved by individual choices in the marketplace. In the final analysis, the only way to align production with society's interests and the needs of humans and the environment, to enforce limits on consumption and pollution, to fairly ration and distribute the goods and services we produce for the benefit f each and every person on the planet and conserve resources so that future generations of humans and other life forms also can live their lives to the full. All this is inconceivable without the abolition of capitalist private property in the means of production and the institution of collective bottom -up democratic control over the economy and society. And it will be impossible to build functioning democracies unless we also abolish global economic inequality. This is the greatest moral imperative of our time, and it is essential to winning worldwide popular support for the profound changes we must make to prevent the collapse of civilization. A tall order to be sure. But we will need even taller waterproof boots if we don't make this happen..." ~ Richard Smith ~
"Eco-Democratic Revolution...Crazy, Utopian, Impossible. Perhaps. But what's the alternative? The specter of planet wide ecological collapse and the collapse of civilization into some kind of 'Blade Runner dystopia is not as hypothetical as it once seemed. Ask the Chinese, China's 'Capitalist Miracle' already has driven that country of the cliff into headlong ecological collapse that threatens to take the whole planet down with it. With virtually all its rivers and lakes polluted and many deleted, with 70 percent of its croplands contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins, with undrinkable water, inedible food , unbreathable air that kills more than a million Chinese a year, with 'cancer villages' metastasizing over the rural landscape and cancer the leading cause of death in Beijing, China's rulers face hundreds of mass protests, often violent, around the country every day, more than 100,000 protest a year. And even with all their police-state instruments of repression, they know they can't keep the lid on forever (indeed , hundreds of thousands of Communist Party kleptocrats can see the writing on the wall through the smog and moving their families, their money and themselves out of the country before it's too late). Today the Chinese and we need a socialist revolution not just to abolish exploitation and alienation but derail the capitalist train wreck of ecological collapse before it takes us all over the edge. As China itself demonstrates, revolutions come and go. Economic systems come and go. Capitalism has had a 300-year run. The question is, will humanity stand by let the world be destroyed to save the profit system?" ~ Richard Smith ~
"The transition to biosphere consciousness has already begun. All over the world, a younger generation is beginning to realize that one's daily consumption of energy and other resources ultimately affects the lives of every other human being and every other creature that inhabits the Earth. The Empathic Civilization is emerging. A younger generation is fast extending its empathic embrace beyond religious affiliations and national identification to include the whole of humanity and the vast project of life that envelops the Earth. But our rush to universal empathic connectivity is running up against a rapidly accelerating entropic juggernaut in the form of climate change. Can we reach biosphere consciousness and global empathy in time to avert planetary collapse? " ~ Jeremy Rifkin ~
"The Gaia Atlas of Green Economics offers an innovative and imaginative approach to a subject that most people find incomprehensible. At its core is an insistence that economics cannot be considered separately from ethical and ecological concerns. Paradoxically, what seems like an added complexity clarifies economics by enabling us to consider questions that everyone has thought about., but for which conventional economics has not time. Green economics is essentially concerned with the consequences of the drive to amass wealth, which has expanded the capacity for survival while at the same time imperiling its prospects; and widened the possibilities for freedom while subjecting large portions of the world's population, women not least, to a diminution of their potential. Presenting the quest for wealth as moral and environmental problem as well as a material benefit is the great contribution of this book." ~ Forward by Robert Heilbroner
"As you will discover from reading this book, economics has been molded typically to benefit the wealthy and the interests of the elite in the United States. Just as the US political system, economics has been captured by the powerful and they are not in the mood for fairness..." ~ The Authors ~
"The main purpose of these essays is to introduce those who already have some acquaintance with economics to what might be call the larger scientific background of the subject. The seminar out of which these essays grew was motivated by the feeling that, especially for those who were going back to teach economics in the schools, a feeling for the significance and the background of the discipline was even more important than the acquisition of specific analytical techniques. The trees of the economic forest are so intriguing that it is all too easy not see the wood. These essays are intended to give the reader not only a certain feeling for the little wood that is economics but for the larger landscape in which the wood is set. ~ Kenneth E. Boulding
"Wait a minute, feminism and economics? Isn't a price just a price? A market just a market? Don't men and women feel the ups and downs of economic activity equally, whether they are black or white, straight or gay? Won't a change in interest rates affect everyone the same way, regardless of gender? To all the questions feminist economists answer, "no." Gender, like race, ethnicity, class nation and other markers of social location, is central to our understanding of economics and economic systems The categories and concepts of economic analysis do not express timeless truths. Economic categories and concepts, , like the categories and concepts of every knowledge project, are embedded in social contexts and connected to processes of social differentiation." Drucilla K. Baker and Susan F. Feiner
"Over the past thirty years market fundamentalism has moved from the margins of debate to become the dominant policy perspective across the global economy. ... the term was popularized by George Soros to capture the religious-like certitude of those who believe in a sacred imperative to organize all dimensions of social life according to market principles. Market fundamentalism is the contemporary form of what Polanyi identified six decades ago as economic liberalism' s "stark Utopia" and what we call free-market utopianism - the idea that a "market society" should be created by subordinating all aspects of social life to system of self-regulating markets." ~ Fred Block and Margaret Somers ~
"A Useful Analogy:
Think of the folktale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice–a more timeless tale than the television show about Donald Trump’s apprentice. The boy had often watched as the wizard used a spell to make the broom carry pails of water up from the river. In the sorcerer’s absence, the disobedient boy uses the same spell to command the broom to carry water, but then, to his horror, realizes that he has forgotten the command to halt the process. The runaway broom now creates an artificial and unnecessary flood, and when the desperate apprentice breaks the broom in two, both halves fetch water at an even more rapid rate. The Sorcerer represents the accumulated wisdom of society that has found ways to make dangerous things like fire and markets work for the common good. But the Apprentice’s search for a short cut turns the wizard’s benign magic into a dangerous and destructive force. The lazy and disobedient Apprentice, in short, is a metaphor for the havoc created by uncontrolled markets and the tyranny of market values. The results include corporate scandals, a deterioration in personal morality, and a coarsening of the culture exemplified by the excesses of “reality” shows in which people are encouraged to betray others for money. Market Fundamentalists are cheerleaders for the Apprentice. Disregarding the accumulated wisdom of history, they foolishly insist that this callow youth has the maturity to be trusted with dangerous powers. They are utterly oblivious to the risks to the social order of greed and selfishness. They fail to understand that the pursuit of self-interest has to be balanced by respect for law, morality, and the needs of others. If not, the market becomes a destructive force. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice story brings together all of the criticisms of excessive reliance on markets, so that the opponents of Market Fundamentalism can be more unified. The pragmatic critique is that actual markets often fail because there are not enough buyers, not enough sellers, not enough information for market participants, or similar problems. This simply restates the idea that the Apprentice cannot be left alone; markets need other institutions such as regulatory agencies, professional organizations, and clear rules to produce positive outcomes. A second critique is that markets are not “natural” structures as Market Fundamentalists claim. Rather the power and resources of particular actors tend to distort market situations–as when ENRON and other big energy traders manipulated California’s newly deregulated energy markets. That was a pure instance of turning over command to the unsupervised Apprentice. Finally, the social justice argument is that because of these established inequalities, market outcomes are often deeply unfair. When, for example, the Apprentice is left in charge of the labor market, low wage workers have no choice but to accept whatever wages and working conditions employers choose to offer. This is why we surround the labor market with regulations, including minimum wage laws and forms of public provision that give at least some of the poor access to food, housing, and health care. If we gave full authority to the Apprentice, as Market Fundamentalists recommend, the claim that all citizens are equal would quickly be reduced to empty rhetoric. Most importantly, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice metaphor suggests a positive alternative. Instead of belief in The Market’s unquestioned wisdom, there is a long history of efforts to create a Moral Economy in which the market works to support our deepest values–fairness, democracy, compassion, responsibility, and protection of our natural and social environment. A Moral Economy, for example, would reconstruct the labor market to block employers from spiraling down the “low road” of low wages and minimal benefits. It would prevent firms like Wal-Mart from paying such meager wages that many of its employees have to rely on food stamps to feed their families. Energy markets would be reshaped so that prices actually reflect the real cost to society of fossil fuels as compared to renewable sources of energy. Global commodity markets could be restructured so that producers in poor nations are guaranteed a price for their goods that allows them to escape poverty and deprivation. A Moral Economy, rather than Market Fundamentalism, would give us a stronger and more effective economy. At the time of the Civil Rights movement, conservatives argued that moving too quickly towards racial equality would weaken our economy. But the outcome was exactly the opposite. Desegregation in the South coincided with the region’s most dynamic economic growth. Similarly, one of the nation’s most generous social programs–the G.I. bill that helped millions of World War II veterans to return to school–played an important role in fueling the economic growth of the 1950's and 1960's. Comparable efforts today to shift away from dependence on fossil fuels and to provide upward mobility for millions of low wage workers could also produce huge economic dividends. Much of our political debate centers on the question of which is better–more market or more state. The time has come to change the terms of the debate. Building a Moral Economy does not require vast increases in the command and control capacity of the Federal Government. We can do it with skillful policies that harness the energy of markets to accomplish broader social ends. The real issue now is do we want a Moral Economy or one where the Sorcerer’s Apprentice runs amok? " ~ Fred Block ~
"...Capitalism has changed far less than many people- its critics as well as supporters- want to think. Several facts about the current crisis may at first glance seem to suggest that it did not result from the fall in the rate of profit. The crisis erupted well after much or all to the fall had occurred. Its main immediate cause was the bursting of an asset-price bubble. And it was immediately preceded by speculative frenzy and a huge rise in asset prices that led to a sharp (but temporary) increase in the rate of profit. As we have seen, however, Marx's theory holds precisely that a fall in the rate of profit leads to crises only indirectly and in a delayed manner. The fall leads first to increased speculation and the build-up or debt that cannot be repaid, and these are the immediate causes of crises. Thus the timing of the current crisis and the sequence of events leading to it do not contradict the theory, but are fully consonant with it and lend support to it. Nothing anomalous has occurred that requires us to look elsewhere for explanations." (emphasis mine) Andrew Kilman
"Keynes had a political objective. Unless governments took steps to stablize market economies at full employment, the unhdoubted benefit of
markets woulld be lost and political space would be opened up for extrmists who would offer to solve the economic problem by abolishng markets, peace and liberty.
This in a nutshell was the Keynesian 'political economy'. Keynes offers an immensely fruitful way of making sense of the deep slump now in progress, for suggesting policies to
us out of the slump, for ensuring, as far as is humanaly possible, that we don't continue to fall into pits like the present one, and for understanding the human condition. These are the things which make Keynes fresh today..."
"Viewing his own "accomplishments" through rose-colored glasses obfuscates the harsh reality we are all forced to live with now. Yet, Greenspan's major shortcoming -
and critical flaw- was not his mistakes but his refusal to admit them. Thus, he never learned from his errors in judgement, repeating them time and again over the course of 19 years.
The financial world Greenspan has left behind will be a treacherous one to navigate that will leave many wounded in its wake. There is no debate: Greenspan was no "Maestro;
" he was the master of the United State's descent into financial trumoil. The evidence speaks for itself."
William Fleckenstein and Frederick Sheehan
"The latest economic crisis bears little resemblance to the Great Depresion, but the analytical and political requirements of the current situation are parallel. Any program for economic revival that ignores or misunderstands the sources of the crisis will fail to gain long-run acceptance, precisely because it will fail to establish the basis for a long-term recovery. Equally important, the long-run potential of any economic program will depend critically on its ability to help cement a durable political coalition capable of transforming economic blueprints into new institutions,new laws, and new ways of organizing the ecomnomy....ours it not the traditional Keynesian critique of the waste inherent in a laissez-faire capitalist economy, for Keynes's target was not the misuse of labor and other resources, but the nonuse of these inputs...Critical to the perpetuation of both the demand-side waste that Keynes identified and the supply-side waste that we stress is the hegemony of the principle that private profitability shoud be the guiding principle of resource allocation." (1990) ~ In Honor of David A. Gordon ~ ~