A Way Out for Greece and Europe: Keynes’ Advice from the 1940s

By Marie Duggan

Is there a way for Greece to honor its debts without impoverishing its people? Most people see only two ways out of the current crisis: Either Greece services its debts, and the wealth gap between creditor and debtor nations in Europe rises; or Greece defaults, and the European banking system is forced to write-down its assets by the value of the Greek IOUs. However, there is a third way: creditors could promise to spend the money they receive from Greece (in the form of debt service payments) on Greek imports or on long-term for-profit investments in Greece. This third way involves re-aligning institutional incentives so that the creditors only gain when the debtors themselves grow.

Problems like those Greece faces are not new. And, in fact, the best solutions are not new either. During the Second World War, Britain faced a similar situation of trade deficits coupled with a cut-off of international credit. John Maynard Keynes devised a solution which did not impose all the burdens on the debtors by reducing wages. Instead, it would not be just debtor countries—but also creditor countries—that would have to “adjust.” The creditors would have to spend their surpluses (rather than building up reserves), allowing the debtors, in turn, to grow their economies and pay back their debts. Dependence on the fickle whim of the foreign investor is the story line that unites the post-war British context with that of Greece today. In another similarity, the subtext for Greece, since it joined the eurozone in 2001, has been the need to increase its productive capacity and infrastructure so that its products—priced in euros—are produced efficiently enough to compete with those from other eurozone countries. A solution like the one Keynes proposed for Britain towards the end of the war would offer Greece the best way out today.

Read rest here.

Graph/Table of the Week: Effects of Clinton’s Welfare Reform

Clinton famously said that he would end welfare as knew it. Personal responsibility had to play a bigger role. The new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created to replace the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The number of families with children in poverty is today slightly higher than in 1996. But the number of families that are helped by the welfare system has declined dramatically, as shown below.

welfare

Source available here (from last year). So it is harder for the poor to have access to welfare. Thought it was good to remember as another Clinton starts to campaign for the White House.

Graph/Table of the Week: Consumption Inequality

Back after a long hiatus. Below two maps (not graphs, but close enough). The first shows the income share of the top 10%. It shows a predictable picture. Western Europe is the island of equality. Note that South Asia doesn’t look terribly bad in international comparison.

incomeshare

The second map shows the share of population consuming less than US$ 2.5 per day measured in PPP.

consumptionshare

As you can see in this one the picture is significantly different. India now looks more unequal than China, the Southern Cone better than the rest of South America, and Mexico worse than the US. Africa and South Asia are the worst in terms of inequality when consumption is used as a measure. Latin America looks slightly less unequal in this measure. The maps comes from the new paper by Sanjay Reddy and his co-authors available here.

The time for a new economics is at hand

By Julie Matthaei

In early January I passed out a leaflet to my colleagues at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Boston, which brought together more than 11,000 economists and social scientists. The leaflet pointed out the profession’s failure to predict the 2008 financial crisis and challenged economics professors to incorporate new ideas into their teachings. As a self-proclaimed Marxist-feminist-anti-racist-ecological economist and economics professor, I was glad to take this opportunity to protest the lack of pluralism in the profession as well as the weaknesses of mainstream neoclassical economic theory, especially in the currently dominant free-market form.

Read rest here.

URPE at the Eastern Economic Association Meetings

URPE has organized several sesssions at the EEA Meetings, that will take place from Friday to Sunday at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York, NY. Program here.

Sessions below.

<Friday, February 27, 8:00-9:20>
[A 18] Productivity, Labor Unions, Economic Disaster, and Social Class (JEL Code B)
First of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Eric Hoyt, Umass Amherst Session Organizers: Lopamudra Banerjee, New School for Social Research, Eric Hoyt, Umass Amherst, Ellen Russell, Wilfrid Laurier University

  • Social Class and Disaster Outcomes Lopamudra Banerjee, New School for Social Research
  • Private Sector Union Density, A Benefit of Wrongful Discharge Laws Eric Hoyt, Umass Amherst
  • Why Isn’t Productivity More Popular?: A Bargaining Power Approach to the Pay/Productivity Linkage in Canada Ellen Russell, Wilfrid Laurier University, Mathieu Dufour, Wilfrid Laurier University

[A 19] Growth Constraints in Developing Countries (JEL Code B)
Second of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Chair: Ozgur Orhangazi, Kadir Has University, Turkey
Session Organizer: Armagan Gezici, Keene State College

  • Dynamics of Capital Accumulation in Post-2001 crisis in Turkey
    Ozgur Orhangazi, Kadir Has University Turkey, Armagan Gezici, Keene State College
  • Economic Capacity and Thirlwall’s Law, the Case of Mexico, 1951 – 2012
    Juan Alberto Vazques Muñoz, UMass Amherst
  • Distribution and Growth with an Infrastructure Constraint. Overcoming the Fiscal Constraint: The Bolivian Case
    Raul Zelada Aprili, UMass Amherst
  • Latin American Economic Growth Constraints: Export-Based Economies and Income Concentration
    Noemi Levy-Orlik, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

<Friday, February 27, 9:30-10:50>
[B18] Socialist Production and Planning (JEL Code B)
Third of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: Jason Hecht, Ramapo College
Session Organizers: Paddy Quick, St Francis College, Julio Huato, St Francis College

  • Household Production in the Socialist Mode of Production
    Paddy Quick, St Francis College
  • Multilevel Democratic Iterative Coordination: An Entry in the ‘Envisioning Socialism’ Models Sweepstakes
    David Laibman, Science & Society
  • The Principal-Agency Framework and Socialism
    Julio Huato, St Francis College), Abel Perez-Zamorano, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo
  • The (In-)Compatibility of the ‘Visible’ and the ‘Invisible Hand’: Tracing the Intellectual Origins of the Chinese ‘Socialist Market Economy’, Isabella Weber, New School for Social Research

[B19] Issues in Gender and Development (JEL Code B)
Fourth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chairs: Smita Ramnarain, Siena College, Avanti Mukherjee, UMass Amherst
Session Organizers: Smita Ramnarain, Siena College, Avanti Mukherjee, UMass Amherst

  • Declining Female LFPR in India: Evidence of Immiseration or ‘Better’ Days?
    Sirisha C. Naidu, Wright State University, Panayiotis T. Manolakos, Wright State University
  • Unpacking Female (Widow) Headship and Agency in Post-Conflict Nepal
    Smita Ramnarain, Siena College
  • Women on the Front Line: The Political Economy of Ebola
    Kade Finnoff, UMass Boston
  • “A Woman’s Work is Never Done”: Why is the Gender Division of Labor Unequal?
    Avanti Mukherjee, UMass Amherst

<Friday, February 27, 11:00-12:20>
[C18] Gender, Class, Business Cycles, and Social Protection (JEL Code B)
Fifth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: Marie Duggan, Keene State College Session Organizers: Ramya Vijaya, Stockton College, Erin Hinchey, Hood College, Chiara Piovani, University of Denver, Selin Secil Akin, Umass Amherst

  • Engendering the Measurement of the Global Middle Class Ramya Vijaya, Stockton College
  • Man-cession’ and the Ensuing Recovery: the ‘He-covery’ Erin Hinchey, Hood College
  • The Gender Impact of Social Protection Policies: A Critical Review of the Evidence Chiara Piovani, University of Denver
  • The Disproportionate Impacts of Contractionary Monetary Policy on Women’s Employment in OECD Countries Selin Secil Akin, Umass Amherst

[C19] Gramscian Political Economy VI (JEL Code B)
Sixth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: Paddy Quick, St Francis College Session Organizer: Piruz Alemi, John Jay College

  • The Relationship of The State and Civil Society, According to Antonio Gramsci as Manifest in United States & Hip-Hop / On the Language of Furguson Shooting – A Gramscian Appraisal of Race Relations in the U.S. Shamel D. Manuel, John Jay College
  • ISIS: Religion as a State Stephen Gunter, John Jay College
  • State – Civil Society & Ferguson Shooting Valerie Right, John Jay College
  • Understanding Developments in Current Accounts and Financial Flows in Light of Discussions on Global Imbalances and Recent Crises Hasan Cömert, Middle East Technical University, Güney Düzçay, Middle East Technical University

<Friday, February 27, 1:00-2:20>
[D 18] Latin American Economies Today (JEL Code B)
Seventh of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Abel Pérez Zamorano, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo Session Organizers: Ricardo Summa, Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro, Luiz Pinto, Columbia University, Marcos Reis, Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, Numa Mazat, Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro

  • The Slowdown of the Brazilian Economy in the Period 2011-2014, Ricardo Summa, Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro
  • Political Economy of Petroleum in Post-Chavez Venezuela Luiz Pinto, Columbia University
  • The Bank of South: A Critical Analysis Marcos Reis, Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales
  • The Impact of Global Value Chains on the Mexican Economy in the Last Two Decades: Some Observations Numa Mazat, Universidade Federal do Rio De Janeiro

[D 19] Gramscian Political Economy III (JEL Code B)
Seventh of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: David Fields, University of Utah Session Organizer: Piruz Alemi, John Jay College

  • An Analysis of the State, Civil Society and Insider Trading Deshawn Harrison, John Jay College
  • State & Civil Society as related to International Crime Dominic Testino, John Jay College
  • Power in Society and Inclusionary Housing Ernest Modarelli, John Jay College
  • Solutions to Broken Economies: Church, State & the Theory of Fixed Proportions Gina Lagattolla, John Jay College

<Friday, February 27, 2:30-3:50>
[E 18] Finance, Profitability, and Business Cycles (JEL Code B)
Ninth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Julio Huato, St. Francis College
Session Organizers: Marie Duggan, Keene State College, Jason Hecht, Ramapo College of New Jersey

  • From Capital to Market Capitalization: Industrial Change in one Corner of the Connecticut River Valley, 1998-2012 Marie Duggan, Keene State College
  • Is Net Stock Issuance Relevant to Capital Formation? Comparing Heterodox Models of Firm-Level Capital Expenditures across the Advanced and Largest Developing Economies Jason Hecht, Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • Finance, Short-Term Profitability Dynamics and Business Cycles in the U.S. 1947Q1-2014Q3 Sergio Cámara Izquierdo, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana – Azcapotzalco
  • Foreign Currency Mismatch and its Impact on Corporate Investment: A Firm Level Balance Sheet Approach for Turkish Non-Financial Sectors Serkan Demirkilic, UMass Amherst

<Friday, February 27, 4:00-5:20>
[F 18] The Political Economy of Health Care (JEL Code B)
Tenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Lynn Hatch
Session Organizer: Julio Huato, St. Francis College

  • Measuring the Health Impact of New York’s Earned Income Tax Credit on Low-Income Neighborhoods Jeanette Wicks-Lim, PERI
  • To Live and Die in America: Labor in the Time of Cholera and Cancer Robert Chernomas, Univ of Manitoba, Ian Hudson, University of Manitoba
  • External Financing of Long-Term Health Care in Low Income Countries: The ART Treatment Challenge John Serieux, Univ of Manitoba
  • Obama and the Medical-Industrial-Complex Robert Chernomas, University of Manitoba, Ian Hudson, University of Manitoba

<Saturday, February 28, 8:00-9:20>
[G18] Geography, Capital Accumulation, and Crises (JEL Code B)
Eleventh of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Julio Huato, St. Francis College Session Organizer: David Fields, University of Utah

  • Drop Dead? A Critique of Neo-Marxist Assessments of US Urban Crises From a Heterodox Perspective David Fields, University of Utah
  • Overaccumulation Crisis and Labor Regime Beneath the rise of East Asian Economies Zhongjin Li, Umass Amherst
    Research and Development and Fundamental Class Process: An Empirical Study Mohammad R. Moeini Feizabadi, Umass Amherst
  • Primitive accumulation: From Marx and Rosa Luxemburg to David Harvey Tvrtko Vrdoljak, St. Francis College

<Saturday, February 28, 9:30-10:50>
[H 18] Inequality, Development, and Crises (JEL Code B)
Twelfth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: Mona Ali, SUNY New Paltz Session Organizers: Luke Pretz, Umass Amherst, Mark Stelzner, Nazarbayev University, Peter Bent, Univ of Oxford, Umass Amherst, Kristen Hudak Rosero, Wentworth Institute of Technology

  • Explaining the Netherlandish Art Market Crash in the 17th Century Luke Pretz, Umass Amherst
  • Explaining US Wage Income Inequality since the 1980s Mark Stelzner, Nazarbayev University
  • A ‘Diabolic Loop’? Protected Industries and Sovereign Crises in Emerging Economies,1880-1913 Peter Bent, Univ of Oxford, Umass Amherst
  • Multilateral Developments as Conduits for South-South Cooperation
    Kristen Hudak Rosero, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Luis Rosero, Fitchburg State University

<Saturday, February 28, 11:00-12:20>
[I18] Class, Migration, Poverty, and Development (JEL Code B)
Thirteenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: Yelda Yucel, Istanbul Bilgi University
Session Organizer: Julio Huato, St. Francis College

  • Migration in Kenya: Beyond Harris-Todaro Cem Oyvat, University of Greenwich, Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji, UMass Amherst
  • Ethnic-Class Consciousness in Bolivia: El Buen Vivir, Historic Specificity, and Cultural Resistance Natalia Bracarense, North Central College
  • Reproduction of Conditions of Subsistence: The Informal Economy in India Snehashish Bhattacharya, South Asian University
  • Measuring Decent Work for Turkey Yelda Yücel, Istanbul Bilgi University, Özge İzdeş, Istanbul Bilgi University

<Saturday, February 28, 2:00-3:20>
[J18] The Transformation Problem: A Recapitulation (JEL Code B)
Fourteenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: Armagan Gezici, Keene State College
Session Organizer: Fred Moseley, Mount Holyoke College

  • The ‘Transformation Problem’ in All Schools: Marx on Surplus Value and Transfers of Value as Two Distinct Sources of Profit
    Anwar Shaikh, New School for Social Research
  • The Mobility of Labor and the ‘Transformation Problem’Duncan Foley, New School for Social Research
  • M – C – M’ and the End of the ‘Transformation Problem’, Fred Moseley, Mount Holyoke College

<Saturday, February 28, 3:30-4:45>
[K18] Unequal Exchange and the Economics of Private and Public Finance (JEL Code B)
Fifteenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Gokcer Ozgur, Hacettepe University
Session Organizer: Julio Huato, St. Francis College

  • Taxes, Spending and Human Flourishing: Towards a Virtuous Public Finance Donald Richards, Indiana State University
  • Saving: Pool or Residual? Gokcer Ozgur, Hacettepe University
  • Ownership Absent: Shareholders’ Contribution to the Inherent Inefficiencies of the Corporate Form Anthony Bonen, New School for Social Research

<Sunday, March 1, 9:30-10:50>
[L18] Gramscian Political Economy I (JEL Code B)
Sixteenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Tvrtko Vrdoljak, St Francis College Session Organizer: Piruz Alemi, John Jay College

  • The Economics of Common Sense: Philosophy, Language, Religion, and Sexual Discrimination Aida Rodriguez, John Jay College
  • Voluntarism and the formation of the Italian State Aleena Peerzada, John Jay College
  • Civil Society & State: Political Economy of Control Systems Annette Regula, John Jay College
  • Gramsci & Foucault on Political Elements Christian Bouquet, John Jay College

[L19] Gramscian Political Economy IV (JEL Code B)
Seventeenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: David Laibman, Science & Society Session Organizer: Piruz Alemi, John Jay College

  • The State(s) & Civil Society Giuseppe Falanga, John Jay College
  • Gender Inequality Relationship between the State and the Civil Society Jihyun Do, John Jay College
  • Political Machinations, International Crimes and Military Takeovers of the Egyptian Revolution Kamron Chase, John Jay College
  • Gramsci’s Concept of Hegemony at the International Level Kristina Oreshchenkova, John Jay College

<Sunday, March1, 11:00-12:20>
[M18] Gramscian Political Economy II (JEL Code B)
Eighteenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE)
Session Chair: Julio Huato, St Francis College Session Organizer: Piruz Alemi, John Jay College

  • Prison System relationship between the State and the Civil Society Christine Pang, John Jay College
  • Transnational Crimes effects on the International Community Christopher Petrone, John Jay College
  • The Economics of the State, Political Parties and Civil Rights Movement In Civil society: Coersion and Consent Christopher Evans, John Jay College
  • American International Group (AIG) Daniel Horowitz, John Jay College

[M19] Gramscian Political Economy V (JEL Code B)
Ninteenth of Nineteen Sessions Sponsored by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) Session Chair: Piruz Alemi, John Jay College Session Organizer: Piruz Alemi, John Jay College

  • The State of Being Stateless Lisa Lee, John Jay College
  • Antonio Gramsci and the Civil Society and The States relationship, Matthew Pascual, John Jay College
  • Civil Society and the State in Turkey Michael Trustey, John Jay College
  • Rulers and Ruled: A Gramscian Approach Ronny DeJesus, John Jay College