The Message: From Austerity to Prosperity

Modern history is largely driven by the battle of the rich (top 0.01%) against the masses (bottom 90%). Over the past few decades, the rich have been tremendously successful in having it all their way. A previous blog post on “Deception and Democracy” illustrates by examples their successful conversion of democracy into plutocracy in the USA. As pointed out by Polanyi, unregulated markets create disastrous outcomes for the majority. Therefore, in a democratic environment, theories which misrepresent facts and justify massive inequalities are essential pillars of support for the plutocrats. Spreading these theories via media and educational channels helps create an environment where people support policies which go against their common interests.

As many posts on austerity on the RWER blog have shown, austerity has only caused massive damages to the European Union (just search for “austerity” on the blog). Theories which support austerity as a policy are disseminated by premier educational institutions and provide a crucial pillar of support for enforcing such policies. Equally, educating the public about the flaws of such policies and providing a viable alternative is an essential element of a counter-attack. Ellen Brown has performed a tremendous service with her books “From Austerity to Prosperity: The Public Bank Solution” and also “Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth about our Monetary System and how we can break free.”  I have tried to pick up certain key insights from these books and summarized them as a solution to development problems in Islamic economies in my paper: “On the Nature of Modern Money.” However this paper is lengthy and complex, and meant for a professional audience. My newspaper article “Keynes vs. IMF” presents a brief and oversimplified version of some of the key ideas the public needs to learn, in order to be able to overcome the illusion that austerity is good for them.

An important point here is that the real world economists need to take their case to the public, which is victimized by the neoclassical economists. Talking among ourselves is not helpful except in terms of discovering the strongest arguments and best lines of attack. There is absolutely no point in trying to get published in leading journals, or trying to change minds of professional economists – they have the most to lose. Our natural audience are those who have the most to gain by listening to our message. This means that we need to make much greater efforts to convey our message to the general public. This involves participating more on popular forums like conventional blogs, writing book reviews for good books, providing critiques and alternatives for bad ones, writing for newspapers etc. It also involves making the efforts required to translate and present our theories and models in ways attractive and comprehensible to a general audience.

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4 comments
  1. Macrocompassion said:

    I believe that a better understanding of how our macroeconomics works is an essential factor in this quest for more knowledge on the subject. The details of this matter are not often expressed in theoretical form and it is usually left to the student to try to explain what is going on. Worse, it is often possible to show that opposite effects are caused from one kind of change and so the subject becomes unclear.

    Serious students of our subject (and well-qualified experts too), need to accept that our subject has a theory that can now be seen to be logical and scientific and which leads to sensible results which are not contradictory. Such information is now available in my new book “Consequential Macroeconomics–Rationalizing About How Our Social Works”. It is available on Amazon and on morebooks. A serious academic student can also obtain from me an ebook version for purposes of review only. (chesterdh@hotmail.com)

  2. Asad — The is nothing in this post that I disagree with. As far as I am concerned you are right on the money. What we are missing is an educational vehicle that can both encourage and disseminate vital information to the majority (worldwide). I have repeatedly attempted to offer one, but no one has yet to comment on it here or on WRER. Why? Perhaps you will be the first. http://www.edenorg.com.

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