John Weeks has a good piece on the conflict between Italy and the European Commission. Apart from showing how ridiculous and ideological the EU-rules of the Stability and Growth Pact are, it also shows how it is impossible to apply them.
I am currently reading his new book, I highly recommend it. It covers much of the same ground as Yanis Varoufakis’ Modern Political Economics: Making Sense of the Post-2008 World, but in a more accessible and less technical/philosophical manner. On top of that it is written a bit in a ‘cranky old man’ -style which I think is highly suitable for the subject (and pretty entertaining as well). Anybody should be cranky about how mainstream economists have fed us and our governments pure rubbish. It would be so great if economists of this type, like Weeks, Varoufakis, Marc Blyth and Steve Keen team up with economic sociologists like Michel Callon, Edna Bonacich or Jens Beckert. Then we finally might get some kind of economics that makes sense.
Posted in Economy, EU, Eurocrisis
Tagged economic sociology, Edna Bonacich, European Commission, Italy, Jens Beckert, John Weeks, Marc Blyth, Michel Callon, Stability and Growth Pact, Steve Keen, structural deficit, Yanis Varoufakis
What can be nicer than reading such a deep and insightful article about the relation between the Eurocrisis and European democracy, institutions and the alleged moves towards European federalism.
There shouldn’t be anymore disagreement over the utter failure of European economic policies – debt levels are not exactly going down, unemployment (especially for young people) is way to high, growth is non-existent (0,5% for the Netherlands is considered a success!) and worst of all, deflation may be around the corner, making all of the problems above much worse. And that is without taking into consideration the rise of right-wing nationalism such as in France, the Netherlands, Finland and perhaps most vicious of all, Hungary. Also Spain has decidedy undemocratic tendencies regarding the right to express opinion.
In short, Europe is falling to pieces as we stand. And that is not a place where I want my children to grow up. Current law doesn’t allow I guess this but in my opinion many of the current politicians (especially also in Brussels) should be tried for gross mismanagement. Finland is a great country but in a way it is Greece circa 2010: digging its hole of economic misery deeper and deeper by trying to keep the government budget under control, in the face of a sinking economy and deficient aggregate demand. I don’t like that one bit, because it is precisely the wrong policy. But you know, rules are rules and you should stick to the rules, and especially when it is really difficult you should throw some sisu in to show that you are toughing it out.
Fortunately, there are some that have thought about the Eurocrisis agreat deal and propose solutions that don’t need Treaty changes nor should be politically unacceptable. The two models I like most are by Jamie Galbraith, Yanis Varoufakis and Stuart Holland on the hand and by Jörg Bibow on the other hand. Both have their merits and it is possible to merge them in a ‘super-proposal’, I guess. The Modest Proposal is my final choice though, because it seems to be much more active about investment and also is very thought through in terms of practical implications.
By the way, the Finnish version of The Global Minotaur will be released in roughly two weeks and Yanis Varoufakis will be in Finland for this reason, also being a keynote speaker in the Power, Culture and Economy –conference in Tampere later this month.
“The Modest Proposal for Resolving the Euro Crisis explained: An interview with Roger Strassburg of NachDenkSeiten | Yanis Varoufakis” http://feedly.com/k/1dqOpkI