Steve Keen Interview – Part 5: The UK’s business like approach to education leaves very little room for innovation. How do we shift the focus from monitoring and testing to improving the teaching level and learning experience?
In 1970, ninety per cent of financial flows were used to finance trade or investment in the real economy; only ten per cent was speculative. Today more than ninety-nine per cent is purely speculative and has nothing to do with the real economy. As Simon Johnson says, “Wall Street has become a very specific type of casino. Unfortunately it’s not the type they have in Las Vegas that is a legitimate form of entertainment. It’s a casino that has massive negative effects on the rest of society.”
The use of precious metals as money goes back nearly three thousand years. Until quite recently, gold and other metals (notably silver) were the basis of money in nearly all societies. But, as modernity took hold, money no longer took the exclusive form of gold and silver coinage. Instead, paper money and base metal coins were issued and their quantity was linked to gold at a fixed rate. This satisfied the requirement for money supply stability because the stock of gold is relatively fixed and can only increase by the amount of new gold mined from the earth.
Perhaps surprisingly, the term ‘military-industrial complex’ was coined by a former soldier. On the occasion of his farewell address to the nation after serving two terms in The White House, President Eisenhower warned Americans: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” What would he make of the situation today, where US economic success seems inextricably linked to the continued production of the machinery of war on a scale unimaginable in Eisenhower’s time?