Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Eldridge & Co. - Les Leopold: "Runaway Inequality"

Les Leopold has a great way of explaining to ordinary people how the One Percent have wrecked the Western economies - at least for most the majority of people - and how the new world of finance now works against them.

Les Leopold's book "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice" explains how economic inequality developed, what it is doing to us - to our families and to our country, illustrating how virtually all the key issues we face, are ultimately connected to rising economic inequality. Statistics will astound you: the ratio of pay between the top 100 CEO's and the average worker are 829 to one!

Eldridge & Co. - Les Leopold: "Runaway Inequality"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9UOr-jE6tk


18 comments:

Matt Franko said...

Think it is bad now just implement permanent ZIRP as an official policy and see what happens...

Kaivey said...

les Leopold may be in the Ellen Brown tradition of understanding public banking and the monetary supply, but he does write very good and easy to understand books.

As Randolph Wray say's, MMT can be useful to both left and right wing governments, but as the central pillar of the Right's argument is that the government has run out of money and that taxes are bad, then MMT will be devastating to their main cause.

Tom Hickey said...

The key to the difference in positions between left and right (political terms) in economics is the attitude toward unemployment.

The General Theory is about controlling unemployment.

But, as Kalecki noted, unemployment is a feature of capitalism rather than a bug in the eyes of employers.

Political Aspects of Full Employment

The right is chiefly concerned with growth, efficiency, profit, and price stability, whereas the left is chiefly concerned with welfare and employment.

The right favors a market state and distribution by "merit," where government acts as "night watchman." The left a welfare state in which governmental policy aims at the common good, general welfare, and public purpose,

Matt Franko said...

I think you guys are conflating "right" with "libertarian"...

Tom Hickey said...

I think you guys are conflating "right" with "libertarian"

In economics, right is conventional neoclassical based economics that assumes optimization and equilibrium, and the left is "heterodox" economics that doesn't — old Keynesianism, Post Keynesianism, MMT, Institutionalism, Marxism, etc.

The assumption of the former is that a market based economy tends to general equilibrium in which the goods, money, and labor market all clear at efficient (optimal) use of available resources. The latter denies this assumption and that a market based economy can settle into an equilibrium in which the labor market does not clear (all those willing and able to work don't have a job offer).

Malmo's Ghost said...

I was thinking the same thing, Matt. The libertarian right doesn't give two shits about workers or the "common good". The right the Pat Buchanan's of the world represent is miles apart from the libertarian ethos.

Malmo's Ghost said...

"The right favors a market state and distribution by "merit," where government acts as "night watchman." The left a welfare state in which governmental policy aims at the common good, general welfare, and public purpose,"

And most everyday common people favor something in between.

Tom Hickey said...

And most everyday common people favor something in between.

And most of them haven't thought the thing through, for the simple reasons 1) rampant ideology in institutions that disseminate information, and 2) it is complicated and most people don't have the time to think it though, which requires acquiring the background and also having the chops to do it.

Basically, it boils down to tradeoffs, which means setting priorities, which implies establishing criteria.

The history of Western intellectual thought is the story of this debate, which is ongoing because it is normative as well as descriptive, and there are not absolute criteria, or even mutually agreed upon criteria.

If this were simple it would have been decided. Moreover, it is not only complicated but also complex and involves reflexivity and emergence.

Malmo's Ghost said...

So "if they think it through" all people would want a welfare state in which governmental policy aims at the common good, general welfare, and public purpose? Markets and merit have no place in the former? Do you have any real world examples of the former?

Bob said...

People want reciprocity, which suggests they would be in favor of full employment policies.

Tom Hickey said...

So "if they think it through" all people would want a welfare state in which governmental policy aims at the common good, general welfare, and public purpose? Markets and merit have no place in the former? Do you have any real world examples of the former?

Fallacy of the excluded middle.

There is no pure market state or pure welfare state except on paper. The mix is a matter of preference and tradeoffs.

But if it were a (hypothetical) choice, would you choose a market state in which it's every man for himself, where inequality was vast and those at the bottom were culled by starvation in down turns, or a welfare state in which it's we're all in this together and all suffer relatively equally in downturns.

Actually, polls show that most American would prefer to live in a Scandinavian economy (before the neoliberal takeover). That's generally considered a welfare state, in contrast with which the US is more a market state. Recent polls show that most Russian prefer socialism to economic liberalism now that Russia is experiencing a downturn. The communists have been a much stronger bloc politically than the liberals since the Yeltsin years.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Tom,

How about Japan?

Tom Hickey said...

How about Japan?

Japan is a non-Western country with very different culture. Hard to compare.

Malmo's Ghost said...

Japan isn't multicultural. Doesn't fit certain narratives.

Matt Franko said...

Our law (if the law means anything anymore in this libertarian utopia ) says "maximum employment with stable prices"..... Nothing about "inflation!".

Tom Hickey said...

In the Anglo-American world there is a dichotomy between "It's every man for himself" and "We're in this together." That exists less in continental Europe, still less in previously socialists countries. It's unheard of in traditional Asian countries. As a result many people there consider the exporting of American culture to be subversive.

Liberalism based on individualism is a modern Anglo-Amercian concept that took root in 18th century Britain, spread from there, and was institutionalized in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Tom Hickey said...

"Our law (if the law means anything anymore in this libertarian utopia ) says 'maximum employment with stable prices'..... Nothing about 'inflation!'."

FRA Section 2A: "The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."

Kaivey said...

I prefer socialism.