Kuznets, Piketty, Marx and human development | Michael Roberts Blog

Kuznets, Piketty, Marx and human development A new index of human development (HDI) has been created.  The origins of the HDI are found in the annual Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These were devised and launched by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990 and had the explicit purpose “to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people-centered policies”. Human well-being is widely viewed as a multidimensional phenomenon of which income is only one facet.  Human development defined as “a process of enlarging people’s choices” (UNDP 1990, p. 10), namely, enjoying a healthy life, acquiring knowledge and achieving …

The Great Greek Bank Robbery – Yanis Varoufakis

ATHENS – Since 2008, bank bailouts have entailed a significant transfer of private losses to taxpayers in Europe and the United States. The latest Greek bank bailout constitutes a cautionary tale about how politics – in this case, Europe’s – is geared toward maximizing public losses for questionable private benefits. In 2012, the insolvent Greek state borrowed €41 billion ($45 billion, or 22% of Greece’s shrinking national income) from European taxpayers to recapitalize the country’s insolvent commercial banks. For an economy in the clutches of unsustainable debt, and the associated debt-deflation spiral, the new loan and the stringent austerity on …

ANOTHER ‘NOTHING TO SEE HERE’ SPENDING REVIEW’

SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney today unveiled the Scottish Governments spending plans for the coming year. It was a budget statement Scottish Socialist Party national co-spokesperson Colin Fox described as “more insipid managerialism, lacking ambition and any serious intention of addressing Scotland’s systemic inequalities, chronic affordable housing shortage and lack of decent jobs”. The former Lothian MSP added: “Whilst it goes without saying the powers available to Holyrood are insufficient to fully address the needs of working people the fact remains John Swinney has again shown he has no intention of using even the existing powers to these ends’. “The …

SSP WELCOMES COMMISSION CONCLUSION THAT COUNCIL TAX IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE – Scottish Socialist Party

THE Scottish Socialist Party today welcomed the conclusion reached by the Commission on Local Tax Reform that the council tax is unfair and ‘’must end”. The Commission report, to which the SSP contributed, outlined three alternatives, one based on income, the others on land and property. The cross-party body believed any new system should continue to be one of “general tax” rather than a “system of charges for specific services”. The Scottish Socialist Party has advocated an income based alternative for nearly 20 years now and favours a graduated income tax which rises as a person’s income rises. Colin Fox, …

Colin Fox: closing speech to the RISE Conference

Comrades, RISE is the most important left unity project Scotland has seen in a generation. Last weekend we reached another milestone in RISE’s development when we conducted simultaneous interventions into the Climate Change march in Edinburgh & the STUC Anti-Racism celebrations in Glasgow. Whilst the weather was foul the fact RISE was actively involved in both mass movements augurs well for the future and will not have been lost on our ‘dreich’ political opponents. This is the shape of things to come for Scotland’s Left Alliance. The progress we have made should be a source of encouragement to us all. The …

RADICAL HISTORY, CENSORSHIP AND HOW THE TORIES STOLE OUR LANGUAGE

Pauline Bradley (RCN and RISE) outlines the emergence of the notion of Social Justice during the Liverpool Dockers campaign and how the Tories have attempted to hijack the term. Social Justice is a concept which has been stolen from the left and distorted beyond belief. Iain Duncan Smith’s Social Justice strategy has devised many “new” schemes to attack the poor such as universal credit which abolished income support and other benefits. Cuts, bedroom tax, benefit sanctions, food banks, increased poverty, misery and despair under the guise of Social Justice have become the norm to poor, working class people. The kind of …

A poisonous concoction | Michael Roberts Blog

A poisonous concoction Crude oil prices have hit a seven-year low after last week’s decision in Vienna of OPEC, the oil cartel, not to put any limit on oil production next year. Demand for oil has slowed sharply and oil stocks have built up to a record 3bn barrels while oil tankers circle the waters around refineries in the US and Europe unable to unload because there is no demand. At the same time, the prices of important raw materials like iron ore and copper hit new lows. The transport of these resources in ‘bulk carriers has collapsed, as measured by …

Varoufakis

THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR AUTHENTIC DEMOCRACY: Yanis Varoufakis

THE ECONOMIC CASE FOR AUTHENTIC DEMOCRACY: TED GLOBAL-GENEVA 8th December 2015 Yesterday I delivered a TED Global talk in Geneva on the future of democracy and capitalism. While awaiting the video, here is the text of my talk. INTRODUCTION: DEMOCRACY IS NOT INEVITABLE Democracy: In the West we make the colossal mistake of taking it for granted. We see democracy not as the most fragile of flowers that it really is but as part of our society’s furniture – as an intransient given. We also believe that capitalism inevitably begets democracy. It doesn’t! Capitalism may have yielded liberal democracies in America …

Manufacturing Consensus – Hilary Benn’s Speech

MANUFACTURING CONSENSUS – HILARY BENN’S SPEECH Everyone laughs when dictators claim ‘Victory!’ having secured fully 99 per cent of the vote. The deception is so naked, so obvious – nobody is fooled by this supposed ‘national consensus’. By contrast, when Western politics and media appear to reach a consensus on the benevolent intent of ‘our’ leaders, on the Hitlerian qualities of ‘our’ latest Official Enemy – when war is understood to be an unavoidable necessity by just about everyone – nobody blinks an eye. The beauty of a system like ours – controlled by propaganda rather than Big Brother-style censorship …

You’re doing my head in: madness and me today

by Stevie Anderson Branch Chair Clydebank SSP You’re all bugging me, including me. I’m bugging me too. That’s a full stop there, not an exclamation. I’m not exclaiming anything. I’m saying it. Listen, don’t listen, it’s up to you. Much too much I can’t keep up, I can’t keep all this in my head, I can’t work it out, sort it, make it better, make it less painful, get it to make sense. I can’t do this. Stop. I’m not suicidal. Nor am I unwell, low, mad, not coping well or any of the other easy ways we find to …