Complexity in an age of economic crises, climate catastrophe, social injustice and post-democracy. Political economy with economist Zoltan Pogatsa. Social science reviews that are crucial in order to understand the world we suffer in. https://www.patreon.com/politicaleconomypodcast
11. "The Case for a Job Guarantee" - by Pavlina Tcherneva
16:50A universal job guarantee, provided by the state. Funded by monetary financing, as described by Modern Monetary Theory. To be spent on guaranteeing employment for those that the private sector is not willing or able to employ, regardless of job experience, race, age, or gender. Jobs created in carework and the transition to a sustainable, green economy. The job guarantee scheme would be part of a Green New Deal, and could be alternative to or an extension of the Universal Basic Income. Also a great way to transition to an human-to-human economy after job losses due to automatisation.
10. "Less is more" - by Jason Hickel
30:57Less is More: How Degrowth will Save the World by Jason Hickel (William Heinemann Publishing, 2020) How we shall not reduce CO2 emissions without degrowth of our economic. How material use, emissions, and other forms of environmental detruction have not been decoupled from growth. Growth is the centrepiece of capitalism. Without growth, capitalism cannot exist. It has historically relied on "fixes" such as enclosures, colonialisation, the destruction of nature, neoliberalism and the exploitation of the global South. Developed Northern economies have a historical debt to Southern ones. Degrowth will not make our living standards worse. Actually, it will make it better. By forcing us to refocus from growth to distribution, we will realise that it has not been growth that has given us higher living standards. In fact it has been capitalism that has created artificial shortages, to force us to partake. Degrowth will free us make the lives of the many better.
9. "Great Transformations" - by Mark Blyth
35:39Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century by Mark Blyth (Cambridge University Press, 2002) How economic ideas were used to restrict markets in the first half of the 20th century, in order to embed them in social institutions and state structures. The New Deal era in the USA, and the construction of the Social Democratic welfare states in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe. How markets were then in turn disembedded from social and state constraints in both places, based on economic ideas, as well as generous financing for pro market economists, think tanks and media.
8. "Keynes: The Return of the Master" - by Robert Skidelsky
14:20Keynes: The Return of the Master by Robert Skidelsky (Allen Lane, 2009) Keynesianism dominated economics and economic policy roughly between 1936 and 1973. The neoliberal crusade lead by Milton Friedman made use of the phenomenon of stagflation to demolish Keynesianism. It was swept to the margins of economic theory. It was taken over by ideas such as rational expectations, real business cycle theory, the efficient market hypothesis, and public choice theory. Two schools built on these foundations the neoclassicals and the neokeynesians (whom Joan Robinson called bastardised Keynesianism) provided theoretical backing for the bubble that produced the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Only Keynes could save the day. He had to be brought back, and is with us until today. From Obama’s gigantic fiscal stimulus to the expansion of the FED’s balance sheet, through Quantitative Easing in both America and in Europe, to Abenomics in Japan, and massive countercyclical demand management by the Communist Party of China, everyone is doing demand management nowadays. The Master is Back!
7. "The China Model" - by Daniel A. Bell
24:10The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy by Daniel A. Bell. (Princeton University Press, 2016) A Canadian born political scientist working in China and Singapore discusses why we should not take it for granted that Western democracy is superior. He argues that South East Asian Confusian meritocracy has far better output legitimacy and better leaders than our democratic states, and especially young democracies the world over.
6. "Leftism Reinvented" - by Stephanie L. Mudge
18:54Leftism Reinvented – Western Parties from Socialism to Neoliberalism by Stephanie L. Mudge (Harvard University Press, 2018) How left wing political parties have declined in the West in terms of membership and voters, as they progressed from Marxist Socialism through Keynesian Social Democracy all the way to neoliberalism. With special emphasis on Sweden, Germany, the UK and the US.
5. "The Triumph of Injustice" - by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman
11:23The Triumph of injustice - How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman (WW Norton, 2019) 232 pages The enormous social inequalities of today have not arisen accidentally. Neither have our democracies been captured by oligarchs accidentally. They have both come about because politicians bought by these oligarchs have changed the tax system and have enabled offshore tax havens to help the rich grow super rich and capture democracy. We can go back to suppressing these super rich oligarchs by reinstalling the right kind of tax system and by acting against tax havens. And yes, states do have the capacity to do this.
4. "Capital and Ideology" - by Thomas Piketty
26:06Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty (September 2019, Harvard University Press, 1150pp) Following upon the global success of his previous book, Capital in the 21st Century, in this new book Piketty demolishes the belief that extreme inequality is unavoidable. It is a choice we have made, and can be rolled back if we so wish. “The market and competition, profits and wages, capital and debt, skilled and unskilled workers, natives and aliens, tax havens and competitiveness—none of these things exist as such,” Piketty insists, drawing heavily on the Hungarian-British economic historian Karl Polányi. “All are social and historical constructs” that “depend entirely” on the “systems that people choose to adopt and the conceptual definitions they choose to work with.” Piketty takes us through time, from feudalism through the early period of capitalism and the social democratic welfare state to the neoliberal era that we find ourselves in. He demonstrates how massive inequalities have been recreated, how the poor have been abandoned by the Left, and how this has lead to domination by the identitarian nativist Right. He also advances some proposals about how to fix the social formation that we live in.
3. "The Value of Everything" - by Marianna Mazzucato
27:08The Value of Everything – Making and Taking in the Global Economy by Marianna Mazzucato (Public Affairs, 2018) 384 pages What is value? Who produces it in the economy? Does something only have value if it can be bought and sold on the market? How good is the GDP figure in assessing value created in the economy? Does carework create value? Does the state create value? Why do prostitution, the gray economy and environmental degradation increase the GDP figure? Why should the financial sector be as small as possible, rather than as large as possible? Do patents support value creation?
2. "Putin's People" - by Catherine Belton
21:12Putin's People - How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Took On the West by Catherine Belton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; June 2020) 640 pages A 2020 book that looks at the question of how and why exactly it was Vladimir Putin who became the President of Russia. It takes you from his early life in Dresden, to his deputy mayorship in St Petersburg, and then onto his meteoric rise in the Kremlin to eventually replace the ailing Yeltsin. The claim made by Belton is that throughout these years Putin never gave up his participation in KGB/FSB networks, which included not only Russian operatives, but also a wide network of connections in the West. Belton also discusses how a large number of Western firms were complicit in making Putin who he is today.