Daily Archives: December 28, 2012

Deprogramming Progressives Indoctrinated into Supporting Austerity

By William K. Black

A little bit of economics can be a truly terrible thing, for the introductory classes in micro and macro-economics are the most dogmatic and myth-filled part of the neo-liberal curriculum.  Dogmas that have been falsified for 75 years (such as austerity) are taught as revealed truth.  The poor indoctrinated student is then launched into the world “knowing” that austerity is the answer and that mass unemployment and prolonged recessions are small prices to be paid (by others) to achieve the holy grail of a balanced budget.  Students are taught that national budgets are really just like household budgets.  These dogmas are not simply false, they are self-destructive and cruel.  Neo-liberal economics is so bad and has gone downhill at such a rapid rate that it now worships the economic analog to bleeding patients – austerity – as a response to a Great Recession.  Millions of people are indoctrinated annually into believing this long-falsified nonsense, and that includes people who consider themselves progressives.    Continue reading

Dystopia Friday

By Dan Kervick

Chris Bertram, reflecting on cyborg technologies in a possible robot-human future, points to a potentially dystopian outcome for this technology: employers could make the willingness to undergo human technological enhancement a condition of employment contracts.  Bertram sarcastically quips, “Oh well, I expect someone will be along to explain how such contracts would be win-win.”  Matt Yglesias responds, “It seems pretty obvious how they would be win-win: They’d be agreed to voluntarily by two mentally competent adults.”

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America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff – Part 1

By Michael Hudson

[...] [Part 2] [Part 3]

How today’s fiscal austerity is reminiscent of World War I’s economic misunderstandings

When World War I broke out in August 1914, economists on both sides forecast that hostilities could not last more than about six months. Wars had grown so expensive that governments quickly would run out of money. It seemed that if Germany could not defeat France by springtime, the Allied and Central Powers would run out of savings and reach what today is called a fiscal cliff and be forced to negotiate a peace agreement. Continue reading