Make no mistake, the purposeful exclusion of growing numbers from economic activity is an integral aspect of the economic system. The argument that there is no alternative to current arrangements carries with it an explicit acceptance that economic ‘realities’ make full employment impossible. This is utter nonsense, yet without fundamental change, exclusion will only get worse. The technology that should be delivering more comfortable lives and increased leisure time is instead accelerating the process of exclusion.
Making a job, not taking a job means so much more than simply turning your back on employment and setting up on your own. It is more a way of life, a new distinctive multiple income stream lifestyle. It requires a new way of thinking, and not relying on big business or government to put our best interests first.
By now you may have noticed a common theme in these descriptions of how the banking sector and the financial markets make money: they do so not by creating real wealth but by manipulating a virtual-money economy. They can only do this because the banks are able to create money at will. This would be fine if they were dealing in matchsticks or Monopoly money, but they are dealing in the same money that is essential to the process of creating real wealth. Read More
Fractional reserve banking began in Britain in the early days of gold and silver coinage, when people would deposit their coins with goldsmiths for safekeeping. The goldsmith issued a certificate with which the depositor could redeem his gold at a later date. These early bankers soon noticed that their certificates of deposit were being used as a method of payment. Why make a trip to the goldsmith when market stallholders were happy to accept a piece of paper as payment? Read More
We need a more sophisticated debate about business and how it impacts on wider society, writes Mark Braund.
In 2008 the Queen asked Luis Garicano, an economics professor at The London School of Economics, why nobody saw the global financial crisis coming. He was unable to answer her question. Is there a collective noun for economists? A dither would be appropriate, or perhaps a hindsight – but certainly not a vision. How is it that a handful of economists could see that the global economy was headed for the rocks while most remained blissfully unaware? How did the discipline of economics become so unfit for purpose?
Looking at the terms of the Greek bailout one thing is abundantly clear: this is not only a heartless deal, but a brainless one as well. The IMF – no tooth fairy themselves, as the Nigerian Seun Kuti’s song IMF makes clear – have signaled that they think the current Greek debt will never be repaid and would benefit from a partial write off, along with some ‘reforms’ that would see pensions slashed further and the retirement age pushed upwards. Sadly this program, austere in of itself, is not sufficient for those within the German Government and the EU who will accept no suggestion of a debt write off whatsoever.