Economics Of The Undead

Work by Bezemer is around on the net showing that the current financial crisis was predicted.  This table is from Steve Keen.

Researcher Role Forecast Date
Dean Baker, US Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research 2006
Wynne Godley, US Distinguished Scholar, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College 2007
Fred Harrison, UK Economic Commentator 2005
Michael Hudson, US Professor, University of Missouri 2006
Eric Janszen, US Investor & iTulip commentator 2007
Stephen Keen, Australia Associate Professor, University of Western Sydney 2006
Jakob Brøchner Madsen & Jens Kjaer Sørensen, Denmark Professor and Graduate Student, Copenhagen University 2006
Kurt Richebächer, US Private consultant and investment newsletter writer 2006
Nouriel Roubini, US Professor, New York University 2006
Peter Schiff, US Stock Broker, investment adviser and commentator 2007
Robert Shiller, US Professor, Yale University 2006

My own take started in the shipyards in the middle 80s and what was happening to much of our industry, including the Miner’s Strike and on a wider basis in international experience in textiles markets.  The ‘promise’ was that ‘we’ could make better livings without producing real goods and services by somehow upping our skills on the basis of education and ‘working smarter’.    This nonsense continues to be promulgated and is actually riddled with flaws, all too ‘delicate’ to mention such as some poor sod having to do the work we were deeming low skill.  In fact, many of the old industrial jobs were highly skilled and we have never properly bothered to understand this,  An obvious factor was that you could buy a house and discover your wages were little in comparison with the equity inflation.  We now know “we” were borrowing to survive.

I don’t generally like ‘arguments’ that run against received wisdom of the kind spued out against climate change – but I can’t see any sense in the kind of economics our governments are embroiled with.  There is no science behind them and they have a long history of war causation and a rich living easy on the hard work of others,let alone a dark politics that shames us all.

What I want to develop is the narrative account of a democratic economics.  My metaphor is that of the vampire fighter leaving a memoir to combat the Undead in the future.  The key issue is breaking away from the spell they induce.  Another might be that of the scientists working under threat of instruments of torture.  The Emperor’s New Clothes is a one-size-fits-all almost throughout.  It’s been like a detective enquiry in a trail of false clues.

I do the quantitative bit – but the problem here is that most of the numbers needed tend to be missed out – as with neo-classical economists and debt (which they ignore).  And much we get in figures has already been gamed and one needs to know how.  And throughout, one isn’t working as a scientist able to report to a knowledgeable peer group, but to a power group with vested interests.  All the time,one must earn a living in the system one debunks.  Frankly, it’s as hard as making a complaint against police and you often have to rely on evidence gathered in enquiries you can’t control or assume fair and diligent  and may cover-up what you need to know in promised due process.