Memorandums on Alternative Economic Policy
The social state, solidarity, social justice and sharing, open doors while neoliberal deregulation leads to exploding inequality, generalized insecurity and disappearance of public spirit. Ignorance, speculation, privatization and unjust trade policies should be fought, not immigrants.
MEMORANDUMS ON ALTERNATIVE ECONOMIC POLICY
By Marc Batko
Since 1979 the study group Alternative Economic Policy at the University of Bremen has presented memorandums under the leadership of Jorg Huffschmid (Cf. www.memo.uni-bremen.de).
Alternative economics emphasizes reducing working hours and investing in the infrastructure. Education spending must be increased to ensure quality of life. Future necessities and the right to work must not be hallucinated away as precarious work becomes more widespread.
According to the neoliberal myth higher profits lead to greater investments and more jobs. In truth, higher profits entice to speculation on foreign currencies, food and raw materials and to buying back company shares.
Social-economic regulation opposes supply-side trickle-down economics with its social cuts and tax relief for the super-rich. The Asian crisis, the Mexican crisis, the Argentinean crisis and the Russian crisis strike back at "Forever Number one." The Washington consensus exposed as a fraud by the latest financial crisis is based on deregulation, privatization, opening markets and attacking unions.
Instead of expanding education and creating community centers with a multiplier effect, trillions are squandered on wars of choice and bailouts to speculators who stylize themselves as "investors" and "system-relevant."
The crisis is also a chance to abandon the destruction of nature and the hegemony of financial markets and financial products. The "quiet coop" of Wall Street and the banks could be countered with new models replacing the models of corporate business, rapacious business model and the short-sighted privatization model. The state has a social nature and cannot only be a security and power state or a trough for "achievers" and the super-rich and an "activating - punishing" state for the unemployed.
Thirty years of supply side, trickle-down economics favored the capital side and speculation and grieved the labor side. The role of the state, reversing inequality and creating meaningful jobs became taboo subjects with the self-healing market. All problems were stylized as interferences with the market. Private vices were said to produce the public good. All life was reduced, commodified or instrumentalized to economic productivity.
Herbert Marcuse ("One Dimensional Man"), Erich Fromm ("Escape from Freedom") and John Kenneth Galbraith ("The Affluent Society") could be our mentors as we redefine the economy, the state and future-friendly sustainability. The "Gross Happiness Index" could replace the "Gross Domestic Product." Progress could be redefined as living simply so others can simply live. Maximization of knowledge could replace maximization of profit. The community centers in Vancouver B.C. could be seen as an advance in social evolution with multiplier effects reinvigorating public spirit. Ignorance could be fought, not immigrants. Corporations could be made taxable again since schools, roads and police protection do not arise out of the blue. Dishwashers do not become millionaires. The state has a vital role to protect people from unemployment, old age poverty and abuse of power.
The social state, solidarity, justice and sharing, open doors while neoliberal deregulation and privatization lead to exploding inequality, generalized insecurity and disappearance of public spirit.
To read the memorandums of the Study Group Alternative Economic Policy, click on
MEMORANDUM 2008: SHORT VERSION
Redistributing Income, Work and Power: Alternatives to Serving the Upper Class
MEMORANDUM 2008 - CRISIS UNDERRATED
Without increasing internal demand, the upswing based on replacement-investments and exports cannot continue. Without reduced working hours, adequate jobs will not be created in a world of reduced work volumes, rationalization and information technology.
SEVEN LOOSE PIECES OF THE WORLD JIGSAW PUZZLE - Subcomandante Marcos 1997
VIDEO: MIGUEL D'ESCOTO, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2009-2010, interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, April 26, 2010
ATTAC AUSTRIAL CATALOGUE ON DEMOCRATIZING THE FINANCIAL MARKETS
"THE QUIET COUP" BY SIMON JOHNSON
MARC'S TRANSLATIONS ON WAR AND PEACE
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