The so-called “Fiscal Cliff” is Mostly Good, the Bad Part about it is that it would Reduce the Fiscal Deficit!
Why is it that just after an election where reducing the job deficit was universally acknowledged to be our absolute first priority, mainstream Washington has immediately pivoted to making reduction of the federal fiscal deficit its number one concern?
OK, this is (in part) a rhetorical question. We all know that the impeding “fiscal cliff” is driving this immediate concern, though the “fiscal cliff” itself is in large part a direct product of the misguided fiscal “deficit hysteria” that has gripped Washington.1 The question now is what to do about it.
The Chicago Political Economy Group is among a huge number of organizations supporting and endorsing the upcoming Global Teach-In, an event being held simultaneously in seven countries around the world, in an effort to build a new global economy for the 99%.
The Chicago Teach-In will take place from 11am, to 3pm on April 25th at Columbia College, 600 S Michigan, in room 101 at Ferguson Lecture Hall. The event will feature key speakers from around the world and will focus on three major principles; creating global democracy networks, green jobs and planning, and building a new financial system that benefits the 99%.
For more information visit globalteachin.com.
At the recent Occupy Chicago Spring Event in Grant Park, participants in CPEG’s workshop didn’t just have the opportunity to focus on the problems facing the world economy, they got to design their own! The workshop included both an essay authored by CPEG’s Ron Baiman which points out the “deep immorality” of traditional mainstream economics, and an exercise called “Design Your Own Utopia”, a workshop developed by “radical” economics graduate students at the University of Massachusetts in the 1980’s but perhaps even more relevant today.
In particular, the essay argues, though it pretends to be a value-free and objective “science”, Neoclassical economics is actually a thinly-veiled, blatantly immoral social system, and thus clearly an ideology rather than a school of thought that represents a reasonable and meaningful value-based “economic science”.
Download the Essay and Workshop Instructions (PDF)
Image: ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Over the last three decades the U.S. economy has gotten fundamentally out of balance and increasingly dependent on private or public sector deficits to maintain demand. Since the start of the Great Recession in 2008 we have replaced (by bailing out – mostly financial) private deficits with public deficits. Cutting the public deficit (without fundamental restructuring) without restoring another unsustainable private deficit (as in the late 90’s) will simply cause the economy to further decline.
In fact, without fundamental economic restructuring, federal deficit cutting will hurt both in the short-run and the long run. Instead, this new CPEG policy brief focuses on how we restructure and revitalize our economy away from an increasingly unsustainable and debilitating “rentier” structure, to a more viable and sustainable advanced “unequal exchange” economy.
Read the Policy Brief