Economics is Simple and Belongs to the People
Within politics, particularly economics, there aren’t really any differing views about anything anymore. There is a very strict orthodoxy which is never coherently and wholeheartedly challenged, about growth, and the lie of free trade.
We recently heard a German journalist on television describing, presumably, Yanis Varoufakis, as a third-rate economist. But we'd like to ask who he views as a first-rate economist.
This is a good summary of the mess Europe's financial markets are in, Larry Elliott describing financial markets as the last bastion of socialism.
The enduring Chancellor of the UK was, early in his tenure, fond of reassuring us that, despite our current woes, the UK is a safe haven for capital, but he never explains what is actually so good about that, it’s just a given. Do we see any of this capital? Is it that wealthy foreigners can buy London houses as chips, secure that their investment is in a country committed to keeping property prices high and rising, growing. Perhaps it should be obvious to us – it’s certainly presented as something that’s obvious, no one challenges it in any way, it must be a truth – but we don’t understand much about economics the way he understands it.
We certainly not economists, or academics of any kind, we’re ordinary people, often simpletons, really. We’d be lost in an economics textbook, lost amongst curves and graphs and ratios. But we feel sure enough now that: Economics is not Mathematics. Economics is Economics.
We claim a sufficient grasp of the fundamental principles of Economics, which we have understood properly through Henry George. We were and are startled to find: Economics is simple and belongs to the people.
Economics was hijacked long ago and swathed in curves and hieroglyphs. Fred Harrison, in The Traumatised Society, mentions a Financial Times editional (April 12th, 2012) which was lamenting that four years had passed without a proper holding to account for the crisis of 2008. On the same page was a letter from Dr Hugh Goodacre at University College, London, explaining that candidate selection for posts and advancement was skewed towards the specialist study of abstruse economics, this being the favoured area of US academic journals.
As Harrison points out, the enduring financial crisis has taken so much away from tens of millions of people, and they are utterly failed by a profession of economists who seem to have been rendered incapable of understanding its causes, seemingly because their focus has been deliberately turned away from real life.
Academic disciplines are being obfuscated, sidelined, because their synthesis starts to identify obvious truths, psychiatrically, sociogenically, biologically, that make plain the dysfuctional nature of the human condition, the expression of which is necessarily a threat to the existing order of things.
Here, Colin Tudge discusses whether science has become a dishonourable profession
Economics as an academic discipline was made abstruse a century since, when neoclassical economics was forged to hush up Henry George. That has been shown to have been a deliberate act. It can be hard to resist the notion of some intelligent design behind the crises the world lurches into.
What if the Chancellor were to read Progress and Poverty? He may experience a blinding revelation and realise that he and everybody else need to live in the world Henry George described. We’re dreaming out loud, but no one’s description of the world has ever excited us so; as being so obviously true. (Henry George’s, that is.) We think anyone who gave this a little engagement would see the point.
In the UK, talk is increasingly of recovery and growth, but we know who the growth is going to be for, the same people who the growth was for even before the recession. The recovery is not going to be for anyone who’s lost their livelihood or their homes, and are now one of the 36% of the country that are renting. Many people’s lives have been uprooted and turned upside down and have been so dispossessed they will find it very hard to ever recover where they were. Many people’s lives haven’t really begun. And it is people it’s all about.
In a depressing example of the power of saying something over and again, never missing a chance, it’s largely forgotten now that this recession started with a massive private sector crisis, which was bailed out on by the public purse. It actually wasn’t because there were, necessarily given the housing stock, people on benefits that had a bedroom that they couldn’t claim to need. This recession has presented the opportunity to roll back not just the 60s – ambitions have vaulted now – but to roll back the last 100 years of Socialism. We could be heading for 1909. But where is our Winston Churchill?
Growth, GDP, Gross Domestic Product, and property prices, are the indicators of economic health in our sorry age. This was a good article about growth and GDP, or as one comment poster said, was a good review of how pursuing that Grossly Delusional Parameter (GDP) leads to disaster.
Once we started, we couldn’t help rant a bit about the outrageous developments since 2008, it’s still raw and getting rawer. So, that’s where we are now. And faster than we can even write this, stories are still pouring out about the ludicrous extent to which banks/corporations have conspired to cheat the public – cheat the public individually and collectively – and the obvious insipid weakness, if not collusion, of government in this.
Momentarily, there’s a reassuring feeling that everything seems to come out in the end, but that soon turns to weary wonder at what doesn’t come out, that the soon-forgotten scandals are just the tips of icebergs. Great and disturbing revelations are sensational for a moment, and then nothing ever changes, there are scarcely any real consequences.
The current dislocation in the working of the economy is because capital is not the hand-servant of labour anymore, as described by Henry George. If people had their full economic rights, their world wouldn’t be dominated by macro things at all, economic depressions, because everybody would have and be their own part of the world economy, and their own striving with that part would create the wealth, which they would exchange with their own money. There really is no such thing as an economic depression, it’s the talk of the false owners of the world, the fauxners, who fund the politicians and the economics departments and write the agenda in the media.
Under conditions of economic equity, everything would be about what happened at a micro level and the macro level wouldn’t be at all important. There really is no macro level. The kind of questions which dominate the world agenda at the moment would be irrelevant, if they existed at all. Governments would be no more than agencies of the people, operating from offices in glass houses, not one paperclip larger than they need to be; and the term realpolitik could be forgotten. (But no, never forgotten, forgetting is what gets us into these messes.)