Daily Archives: December 3, 2012

The Social Dimension of Prosperity

By Dan Kervick

In a recent interview in The Straddler, James K. Galbraith discusses some of the points he developed in his recent book, Inequality and Instability.  One of the most important of those points is that inequality leads to a stop-and-go crisis economy of credit-fueled asset bubbles.  This economy delivers large rewards to a few fortunate predators, but delivers a lot of instability, stagnation and insecurity to the rest of us.

But, Galbraith also makes some striking and important points in the interview about what he sees as mistaken places of emphasis in contemporary progressive political rhetoric.  One problem is the tendency to lose sight of the most vital systemic constituents of postwar American middle class prosperity – and also the expectations and aspirations that constituted the middle class outlook.  Continue reading

The Austerity Campaign Turns Ambivalence about Our Own Nature Against Us

By Michael Hoexter

The success of the austerity campaign in capturing the American and European political process is remarkable considering that it prescribes exactly the opposite of what factually grounded economic analyses would recommend.  Leading politicians and their advisors are pushing governments to curtail spending at a time of economic weakness and doing so in the post gold-standard monetary era where currency-issuing governments have no affordability constraint on spending.   The focus on public debt is leading the political process away from economic growth and full employment, despite the fact that all major actors in this process claim that their preferred policies are the way to lasting growth.  In the current American “fiscal cliff” negotiations, the leadership of both sides of the negotiation are pushing for different forms of austerity, with no effective organized force in government working against this economic madness. Continue reading

A Meme for Money, Part 1: Introduction

By L. Randall Wray

This is the first part of a series on framing money.

I studied with Hyman Minsky in the early 1980s when he was writing his 1986 book (Stabilizing an Unstable Economy). There are two phrases in that book that I remember him saying in class:

“Anyone can create money, the problem lies in getting it accepted”.

Continue reading