Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Democratic dialogues: how to communicate with the people of Nuneaton | openDemocracy

Democratic dialogues: how to communicate with the people of Nuneaton | openDemocracy

  • This
    is a serious question: I need to know what Jeremy Corbyn proposes for
    the countryside should he become leader of the Labour Party. I suspect
    that his knowledge of life outside Camden and Islington may be

    We have to remember the countryside campaign of the
    Labour Party when Blair's version were triumphant: and we must try to
    forget about those toe-curling events like the Cool Britannia parties at
    No. 10: and for younger readers, this is not a joke or a prod.

    What is much more sad and deflating is that the Labour Chief Whip was
    one Denis Carter, aka Lord Carter, perhaps one of the most decent men of
    all time in politics. All Wiltshire people who are aware will remember
    DC as an agricultural consultant who founded AKC Consultants in Devizes:
    his knowledge of rural life was second to none.

    The most painful
    episode I have ever witnessed in political life was of Dennis leading a
    meeting at the Pembroke Arms in Wilton on the subject of "What Labour
    will do for the countryside." Poor Dennis: he was embarrassed from the
    outset and the evening did nothing to alleviate his discomfort. Even at
    that early stage, it was pretty evident that Blair considered the
    countryside as a dreadful inconvenience that should be done away with
    or, at best, fenced off and ignored.

    Dennis' talk went like this:
    "We will build 67,000,000 houses and that's the way to employ country
    people. All the locals will build houses and get paid. They will then
    live in these houses and be very happy, and should there be, er, no
    work, we will build .... more houses."

    Dennis Carter was a
    supremely good man and had a comprehensive knowledge of farming and
    country matters. He did not "play" a Fender guitar. All Labour
    supporters will remember him, even though he was not a millionaire.

    Corbyn's policy? "We will build 67,000,000 houses and...." (Contd p.94).

  • Mike Noakes 'Why ever do you need the countryside when you have Tuscany?' - Blair, Toynbee and all the rest.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs
  • Simon Probyn I think he grew up in Tangley near andover!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs
  • Rog Rog Rog Tom
    one thing I have been dwelling on for several years now is that
    Westminster politics and indeed what I see of World politics is
    predicated on Urbanisation and Urban populations. Capitalism is an Urban
    phenomenon if you think about it and migration
    ...See More

    The 2015 General Election was a disaster for people...
  • Mike Noakes Localism
    is fine but aggregation does yield the odd benefit. Like roads between
    places, power for more than a couple of hamlets and labour and resource
    Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs
  • Tom Thatcher Blair
    on the crisis in dairy farming: " I could import all the milk we need
    tomorrow." Sums up the above discussions. Farmers were not a part of the
    UK constituency. My daughter met a very nice lass in Holborn last week
    who said, "What's the country l
    ...See More
  • Simon Probyn Maybe his parents moved to Tangley where I met him!
  • Tom Thatcher I remember the Colvins of Tangley: they were AMC customers when I was working there. Michael Colvin was a MP!
  • Mike Noakes I
    remember visiting Michael and the Hon. Nicola Colvin né Cayzer, of the
    shipping line, with the much missed David Hudson. Nicola was horrified
    that Michael had brought us into the kitchen, when obviously we should
    have been seen in the drawing room, as the kitchen was only fit for the
    NFU Mutual man, also due at the same time.
  • Rog Rog Rog Blair
    followed thatchers lead in the destruction of cabinet government with
    regal first and then presidential dominance aping corporate models of
    concentrated power imported into the executive branch of government.
    Cabinet Government is very important
    ...See More|By Roger Lewis
  • Mike Noakes Cutting to the chase, who does one devolve to in order to empower 'the countryside'?
  • Rog Rog Rog Local Authorities in the first place down to the Parish Council level ultimately Mike. The existing arrangements are bereft of political and fiscal power these days , sadly the assumed prudence of centralised fiscal governenece and removal of discretio...See More

    The 2015 General Election was a disaster for...

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

From Post Hydrocarbon to Post Debt society. Can Capitalism exist without debt? #MemoryHoleLazaruslinkpost)

Colander (2005, p. 175) notes: ‘‘Individuals are not born as economists; they are molded through formal
and informal training. This training shapes the way they approach problems, process information and carry out research,which in turn influences the policies they favour and the role they play in society. [Only in the very last pages (pp. 508–510) abox is presented as a kind of afterthought, in which the question is addressed: ‘‘Will growth make us happy”. The answergiven is twofold: ‘‘Income is not the only determinant of happiness, but clearly happiness rises with income ...” and ‘‘Thus,although growth will not make us as happy as we expect it to, it will still make us happier than we would be if there were nogrowth”. Neither statement is convincingly supported with data, arguments or studies. Nor are the fundamental criticismssummarized in Section 2 being addressed

New Eras are usually identified and then defined well after the event, perhaps the most well-known example is the Renaissance or Enlightenment another is the Dark Ages. We are already 30 years into the post-hydrocarbon renewable energy era part of the reason that eras are defined afterwards is that there are overlaps as things change and the difference between half full and half empty is a matter of interpretation and historical spin.

 My own thinking regarding future areas of interest for business is very much focused on post Debt and post-hydrocarbon solutions. I am still undecided whether capitalism can exist as a  political Economic choice without debt. Our monetary and Economic technology is far behind our technological capability. Time for a reboot!

Regarding debt technology and the monetary,  backwardness.  Steve Keen has been calling for a Copernican revolution in economics to recognise the considerable forces mobilised by debt. This shorter video on the alternative to Neo-Liberalism is well worth a watch.

Published on 24 May 2015 ´´When the economic history of our epoch is written, three key phenomena will feature: a period of tranquillity giving way suddenly to a crisis, rising inequality, and rising private debt. Using my model of Minsky's Financial Instability Hypothesis, I show that these three phenomena are all related. There is a direct link between rising debt, rising inequality, and the crisis itself. The key to reducing inequality and ending economic stagnation is to reduce private debt through "Quantitative Easing for the Public" or a "Modern Debt Jubilee". This is the keynote speech I gave to the #IEEP conference in Pula, Croatia on May 23rd, 2015, Steve Keen

EDIT 27 TH March 2017

GDP Critisisms.
The Below is a Lazarus Link from the memory hole series.

2.1. Principles of proper accounting
The use and calculation of the GDP indicator is inconsistent with two principles of good bookkeeping: (i) divide clearly
between costs and benefits; and (ii) correct for changes in stocks and supplies. GDP really represents an estimate of the costs
instead of the benefits of all market-related economic activities in a country. In addition, GDP does not capture all social costs
as it omits external costs.
It is well-known that the GDP indicator was never developed for the purpose of welfare measurement. In 1665 Sir William Petty produced the first estimate

one extrapolates a constant tempo of real GDP growth towards the distant future, it is evident that any correlation with social welfare will be lost somewhere along the way. To illustrate this, note that extrapolation
of a 2% yearly growth rate 1000 years into the future would result in a GDP that is (1.02)
# 400 million times the current
GDP. It is difficult to imagine that individual or social welfare could increase to such an extent. This suggests that if there is a
positive (average) correlation between GDP and social welfare, it should be very close to zero.

Lexicographic preferences
Basic needs like water, food, shelter, company, respect and freedom cannot be traded off against luxury services and
material goods.

2.7. Environmental externalities and depletion of natural resources
An important subcategory of unpriced effects relates to use of natural resources and the environment. This involves negative external effects as well as goods and services delivered by nature

3. How serious is the influence of GDP information on the economy?
In the first place, one wonders why governments invest structurally in calculating and predicting GDP. This investment is
shared by all countries, and since the GDP is standardized through the United Nations System of National Accounts, it allows
for an international comparison of countries in GDP terms
The importance of GDP information for firms, investors and citizens/consumers is illustrated
by the media – television, radio, newspapers, financial and other magazines, and internet – informing us on a daily basis
about the status of our national GDP, both over time and in comparison with other countries. To illustrate the widespread
influence of GDP, note that a search on the internet on July 7th, 2008 for ‘‘GDP” delivered 44,700,000 hits (and ‘‘Gross domestic
product” 4,970,000 more). This is, for example, more than five times the number of hits for ‘‘social welfare”, viz. 8,470,000

A recent indirect but important effect of GDP information relates to climate policy. Among the most influential climate
policy studies are economic analyses in which the policy cost is expressed in terms of a reduced rate of GDP growth (an early
study is Nordhaus, 1991; for an overview see Tol, 2008; and for a critical evaluation Söderholm, 2007). This type of research
has received much attention from policymakers, notably since it was widely diffused through reports of the IPCC (Intergov-
120 J.C.J.M. van den Bergh / Journal of Economic Psychology 30 (2009) 117–135ernmental Panel on Climate Change). In fact, in deciding to not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the Bush administration referred to
Nordhaus’ work as providing an important motivation.

This is not the end of the story. Through pessimistic (optimistic) responses by individuals, firms, and governments to forecasts of a low (high) rate of GDP growth, GDP information creates a pro-cyclic effect. This resembles the way in which behaviour in financial markets is steered by perceptions, leading to herd behaviour which causes expectations to become tru
: GDP not only is an inadequate proxy of social welfare but also has a considerable impact on public and private
economic decisions. By implication, GDP represents a serious information failure.
simplification of choices is not an unusual strategy followed by humans, and has been well documented in the literature
on behavioural economics. For example, human choice is often in accordance with the ‘isolation effect’, which represents
a simplifying approach to compare the performance of complex alternatives (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979).
In addition, conformism, docility, socialization and imitation can explain why GDP is without much criticism accepted by
the majority of citizens and economic students alike.

r, Colander (2005, p. 175) notes: ‘‘Individuals are not born as economists; they are moulded through formal
and informal training. This training shapes the way they approach problems, process information and carry out research,
which in turn influences the policies they favour and the role they play in society. [
Only in the very last pages (pp. 508–510) a
box is presented as a kind of an afterthought, in which the question is addressed: ‘‘Will growth make us happy”. The answer
given is twofold: ‘‘Income is not the only determinant of happiness, but clearly, happiness rises with income ...” and ‘‘Thus,
although growth will not make us as happy as we expect it to, it will still make us happier than we would be if there were no
growth”. Neither statement is convincingly supported with data, arguments or studies. Nor are the fundamental criticisms
summarized in Section 2 being addressed

In fact, one can come up with another
set of quality-of-life indicators, such as pollution, living space, serenity, direct access to nature, congestion and work stress,
with which GDP per capita correlates negatively in certain income ranges. Third, correlation does not guarantee causality.
Although liberty, health and literacy often will act as necessary conditions for sustained GDP growth they do not necessarily
improve by continued growth beyond a certain income level
These various counter-arguments are supported by an extensive empirical study by Easterly (1999). It uses a panel dataset of 81 indicators covering up to four time periods (1960, 1970,
1980, and 1990) and seven areas: (1) individual rights and democracy, (2) political instability and war, (3) education, (4)
health, (5) transport and communications, (6) inequality across class and gender, and (7) ‘‘bads”. Depending on the statistical
method used, it is found that income per capita has an impact on the quality of life that is significantly positive for only 32,
10 or 6 out of 81 indicators. The author concludes that the results can be partly explained by long and variable delays between growth and changes in the quality of life and that for many quality-of-life indicators global socioeconomic progress
(–growth) is more important than home–country growth

, Pissarides, 2000). Further, GDP growth does not necessarily reduce unemployment for several other
reasons: it may involve outsourcing associated with retaining much of GDP domestically while moving jobs to elsewhere;
and growth often goes along with creative destruction, i.e. disruption of old economic activities, which in turn implies (temporary) unemployment in specific sectors or job types. Of course, employment in combination with wages or productivity
will affect the GDP, suggesting the relevance of a reverse causality (and correlation at times).
Another often expressed view is that GDP provides a basis for estimating tax revenues. This might then allow one to forecast taxes, to evaluate creditworthiness in the case of providing loans to countries (as done by the IMF and the World Bank),
or to determine fair financial contributions of member states to a federation of states (e.g., USA, EU). In this case, GDP does
not function as a performance indicator but more modestly as a model variable.
s (de Bruyn & Heintz, 1999; Stern, Common, & Barbier,
1996). What comes out of these studies is that nearby problems relating to human health, like local water and air pollution,
are solved if income rises, but that many other environmental problems are not solved or at best shifted in space (e.g., export

of solid waste, incineration) or time (e.g., landfills). In general, it is therefore not true that economic growth solves environmental problems. This means that GDP information is not as relevant to understand the dynamics of solutions to environmental problems as was initially believed.