Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Nice discussion of my new book

David Warsh, longtime reporter with the Boston Globe, covering economics rather than the economy, discussed my new book, comparing it favorably to recent works by Krugman and Chait.



Myrtle Blackwood said...

I can't go along with Chait blaming the 'timidity' of the press for the dominance of these right-wing crazies. The evidence actually points more to a concerted and successful campaign to takeover the press. Since the time of the Vietnam war, as far as I can see.

This review doesn't mention the similar problems occuring in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain.

I didn't know about the 'Powell Memorandum' of 1971. The purge of left-wing elements predated this memo IMHO. The assassinations of (mostly) the late 1960s, the violent attacks on student demonstrators. The film 'Easy Rider' (released in 1969) seemed to describe the highly-bigoted conservative and violent backdrop of the whole '60s decade and the false freedom of drugs, long hair and motorbikes.

I don't know if there ever was a 'golden age of capitalism'. The corporations merely moved their economic abuse offshore. For a time those in the Western countries have been sheltered from the realities of an economic system premissed on the most atrocious and unsustainable forms of exploitation. 'sheltered' in the sense that most could not read or view the story of slave labour and global environmental devastation until recently, with advent of the internet. I think we've been able to take advantage of the low-priced products that came out of it. Until recently, that is.

Shane Taylor said...

Good news! As for one of David Warsh's criticisms:

"The problem with each of these books, at least for my taste, is that none goes deep enough to constitute a persuasive story about what happened in the 1960s, '70s, '80 and '90s, and therefore, none is very persuasive about what to expect next. For example, none of the three has any discussion of the significance of Paul Volcker, the conservative Democrat who as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board brought double-digit inflation under control."

A discussion, from the "unrepentant populist economist" camp, of the neglected significance of Paul Volcker can be found in the Finance chapter in After The New Economy by Doug Henwood.

Anonymous said...

- change in rate of profit is part of 'the equation'.

Myrtle Blackwood said...

juan said... - change in rate of profit is part of 'the equation'.

Global resource wealth per capita is decreasing at an alarming rate. "With resources declining annually at ~2% and polpulation increasing at 1.4%, the per capita wealth is decreasing at 3.4%. At these rates, we would have about two decades before global resource wealth will be half of its present value, a time scale far too short for a society which is having trouble understanding how its atmosphere - let alone the planet's biodiversity - is changing, to confront and solve this problem. Meanwhile the inertia of present policy is moving us toward further degradation."

From: 'Thermohaline feedback loops and Natural Capital' Tom Sawyer Hopkins. 2001

Myrtle Blackwood said...

PS: The Federal Australian Environment Minister has just approved the construction of the largest pulp mill in the Southern Hemisphere. To be built in Tasmania (1% of the land mass of Australia).

It will be feeding off native forests and monoculture tree plantations. The native forest estate is already on the verge of collapse here. (Leaving aside the huge water, soil, chemical impacts of tree plantations).

Business as usual in one of the few prime farming regions not affected by the drought. Vast quantities of this farmland has been and will continue now to be converted to agro'forestry'.