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The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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It's not just Greece and Spain that need their debt restructuring | Jonathan Glennie

It's not just Greece and Spain that need their debt restructuring | Jonathan Glennie | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
That Europeans have finally been hit hard by the politics of austerity and debt repayments at all cost is regrettable, but it could have positive consequences if they wake up to the need to change things globally. Perhaps this Greek crisis will spur the world into action, now that Europeans not just Africans, Latin Americans and Asians are under the cosh.
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Great article by Jonathan Glennie in the Guardian. We need an international debt restructuring conference.

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Kapital for the Twenty-First Century? | Dissent Magazine

Kapital for the Twenty-First Century? | Dissent Magazine | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Despite having made some disparaging remarks early on about the savagery of the United States, it turns out that Thomas Piketty is a garden-variety social welfare democrat in the mold, largely, of the American New Deal."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant critical analysis by James Galbraith of the new book of Thomas Piketty. A must-read.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 6, 2014 1:43 PM

All economics is political, because all wealth is political.  Be it a controlling influence in our media, energy sources, food resources or home goods, etc, all ownership entails a certain amount of responsibility on the part of the owners and yields considerable effects upon our world through their influence in the political/gubernatorial levels of our world.  To that end, concentration of wealth and true economic capital (the actual stuff that produces and is produced) leads to a form of dictatorship that is as fragile and corruptible as any dictatorship.  It's not good for the polity to leave economic wealth so concentrated at the "top" levels of our society, because it leaves the system prone to collapses, revolutions and uprisings that cannot reliably be put down through military force of arms or deceitful tactics.  The rebels will just keep coming, until the perceived injustice is perceived to be over.

 

What this means, is that in order to realize a less centralized, more organic and more stable polity, the members of our government must throw themselves on the mercy of the general public and reverse the policies which have encouraged the economic system to act as a cancerous parasite on the rest of society, rather than as a benevolent and necessary tool to satisfying human needs first, and human wants second.  The centralized polity under the centralized economic system is already eroding in the streets.  If the government's members are going to save their own hides, at the very least, they might as well reverse the changes of principle and goal that was enacted in the 1980's under the Reagan administration and return government's function and role to those principles and goals that was under the Roosevelt administration (even if we don't do everything the same way that they do).

 

This cancerous tendency in American society has got to be ended.  Yet the only way that it is truly going to be ended, is if those who exhibit these kinds of self-destructive economic behaviors are removed from office, researched and then never allowed back into those places again by the rest of society.

 

Sadly, I don't see humans taking up arms to put these bankers, financiers, executives, lobbyists and politicians into the straight jackets in which they belong in time to save themselves.  A sad state of affair.

 

Think about it.

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The power of ignorance and the problem of abundance

"Since the financial crisis of the late 2000s, most analyses have placed the failure of markets on a lack of information: traders lacked the skills to interpret complex algorithms; regulators lacked awareness of the risks banks were taking with capital reserves. Few analyses have explored the usefulness of those limits to stakeholders who had something to gain from purporting the crisis was unperceivable or understandable until it happened – or even after it happened."

 

Very interesting analysis of the financial crisis from a different perspective based on the work of great French writer George Bataille. Worth a read.

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Shareable: Greek Town Taps Bartering for a More Shareable City

Shareable: Greek Town Taps Bartering for a More Shareable City | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"As Greece continues to search for solutions to its national economic crisis, the port town of Volos has adopted an old-school barter system to help its citizens muddle through. Five years into their recession with 21 percent unemployment, some Volos residents who were short on Euros but long on other resources created a local currency (called TEMs in Greek) that is traded based on non-monetary contributions into the online system."

 

Are alternative currencies the better response to the current debt crisis?

 

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Mumbo Jumble: The underwhelming response of the American economics profession to the crisis

Mumbo Jumble: The underwhelming response of the American economics profession to the crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"In this extract from his forthcoming book, Never Let a Dire Crisis Go to Waste (Verso), the philosopher and historian of economics Philip Mirowski seeks to explain how the American economics profession has successfully avoided culpability for the economic crisis."

 

Another must-read contribution in Open Democracy's great series Uneconomics.

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Ed Miliband is not the leader of the opposition

Ed Miliband is not the leader of the opposition | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Chosen and pushed we are in a period of great transition hampered, mostly, by dead economic ideas still walking. It will best be shaped by those who are able to escape the trap spotted by John Maynard Keynes, to recognise the power of defunct economists, and be brave enough to exempt themselves from their influences. As a principle with which to re-examine our values and redesign our financial system we could well proclaim again, loudly, that real wealth is life, and finance must be its servant, not its master."

 

Great editorial comment in the Guardian by New Economics Foundation's Andrew Simms.

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Book Alert: Betterness: Economics for Humans

"Betterness: Economics for Humans" is a powerful call to arms for a post-capitalist economy. Umair Haque argues that just as positive psychology revolutionized our understanding of mental health by recasting the field as more than just treating mental illness, we need to rethink our economic paradigm. Why? Because business as we know it has reached a state of diminishing returns--though we work harder and harder, we never seem to get anywhere. This has led to a diminishing of the common wealth: wage stagnation, widening economic inequality, the depletion of the natural world, and more. To get out of this trap, we need to rethink the future of human exchange. In short, we need to get out of business and into betterness.

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The Neuroeconomics Revolution

The Neuroeconomics Revolution | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Economics is at the start of a revolution that is traceable to an unexpected source: medical schools and their research facilities.

 

Project Syndicate has this interesting article by Robert Shiller ("Animal Spirits") on the new wave in economic thinking. Maybe these neuroeconomists should first try to understand what is wrong with traditional economists' brain to have such a distorted view of how the economy REALLY works?

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Worldly Philosophers Wanted

Worldly Philosophers Wanted | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"When economists tackle small problems, they lose any vision about what the economic system should look like."

Economics professors Backhouse and Bateman make the case for a new breed of economists with a big-picture vision instead of a "dentristy" approach to economics.

"We clearly need a new, alternative vision of capitalism. But thanks to decades of academic training in the “dentistry” approach to economics, today’s Keynes or Friedman is nowhere to be found."

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Why Weren’t Alarm Bells Ringing? by Paul Krugman

Why Weren’t Alarm Bells Ringing? by Paul Krugman | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Martin Wolf’s The Shifts and the Shocks is an extended, learned, and well-informed exposition of the consensus view about what went wrong with the economy. But is it the whole story? And are policy recommendations based on this consensus likely to solve our problems?
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Interesting critique by Krugman in the NY Review of Books about Martin Wolf's new book on the lessons from the crisis.

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Robert Skidelsky: Four fallacies of the second Great Depression

Robert Skidelsky: Four fallacies of the second Great Depression | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The period since 2008 has produced a plentiful crop of recycled economic fallacies, mostly falling from the lips of political leaders. Four such arguments have been the most important – and the most damaging – in terms of guiding economic policy.
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Brilliant critique of four established but false stories of the austerity narrative.

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"Why Do Economies Stop Growing?"

"Why Do Economies Stop Growing?" | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Many of the growth strategies tried around the world have turned out to have built-in limitations or decelerators – what one might call elements of unsustainability.

 

Absolute must-read article in Project Syndicate by 2001 Economics Nobel laureate Michael Spence. He seems to be one of the few economists able to think beyond the unfruitful austerity versus growth debate and link the crisis of the economy and economics with the sustainability crisis.

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Videos - Michael Hudson: Austerity Doesn\'t Work

Michael Hudson, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics, University of Missouri, Kansas City speaking in Berlin at the Paradigm Lost conference organised by George Soros' Institute for New Economic Thinking.

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Uneconomics: a challenge to the power of the economics profession

Uneconomics: a challenge to the power of the economics profession | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"It is time to acknowledge an uncomfortable truth about the public status of economics as an expert discipline: it has grown to be far more powerful as a tool of political rhetoric, blame avoidance and elite strategy than for the empirical representation of economic life. This is damaging to politics, for it enables value judgements and political agendas to be endlessly presented in ‘factual’ terms. But it is equally damaging to economics, which is losing the authority to describe reality in a credible, disinterested, Enlightenment fashion."

 

Brilliant analysis in Open Democracy on the perverse power of economic technocrats on our democratic institutions.

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Can we manage without growth? An interview with Peter Victor. Part One

Can we manage without growth? An interview with Peter Victor. Part One | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Transition Culture has an exciting interview with Canadian professor Peter Victor on his work about managing prosperity without economic growth.

 

Peter Victor is with Tim Jackson one of the leading thinkers on the new economics for the Great Transition.

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Rise of the TIMBIs

Rise of the TIMBIs | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Forget the BRICs. The real economies that will shake up the world over the next few decades need a new acronym."

 

How Turkey, India, Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia will be the next economic superstars. Very interesting article in Foreign Policy.

 

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Climate Economics: The State of the Art

Climate Economics: The State of the Art | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has just published one of the best studies on the strengths and weaknesses of the models and assumptions used in recent climate economics publications.


The SEI authors conclude that "climate economics tends to lag behind climate science" and make several interesting recommendations to improve this important economic analysis.

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Making Money for Business: Currencies, Profit, and Long-Term Thinking

Making Money for Business: Currencies, Profit, and Long-Term Thinking | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Belgian banking and currency expert Bernard Lietaer and community developer Gwendolyn Hallsmith present some of their stimulating ideas on how to re-engineer our monetary systems for the sustainability revolution.

 

A bit technical and out-of-the-box but the kind of innovative thinking that we will ultimately need. Much more realistic than the mumbo-jumbo presented by EU leaders as the "historical" solution for Europe.

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