AUSTERITY THE HISTORY OF A DANGEROUS IDEA

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Austerity

Author : Mark Blyth
ISBN : 9780199389445
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 77.81 MB
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Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts--austerity--to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer. That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget. The problem, according to political economist Mark Blyth, is that austerity is a very dangerous idea. First of all, it doesn't work. As the past four years and countless historical examples from the last 100 years show, while it makes sense for any one state to try and cut its way to growth, it simply cannot work when all states try it simultaneously: all we do is shrink the economy. In the worst case, austerity policies worsened the Great Depression and created the conditions for seizures of power by the forces responsible for the Second World War: the Nazis and the Japanese military establishment. As Blyth amply demonstrates, the arguments for austerity are tenuous and the evidence thin. Rather than expanding growth and opportunity, the repeated revival of this dead economic idea has almost always led to low growth along with increases in wealth and income inequality. Austerity demolishes the conventional wisdom, marshaling an army of facts to demand that we austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.
Category: Business & Economics

Austerity

Author : Mark Blyth
ISBN : 9780199939091
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 64.78 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts--austerity--to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer. That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget. The problem, according to political economist Mark Blyth, is that austerity is a very dangerous idea. First of all, it doesn't work. As the past four years and countless historical examples from the last 100 years show, while it makes sense for any one state to try and cut its way to growth, it simply cannot work when all states try it simultaneously: all we do is shrink the economy. In the worst case, austerity policies worsened the Great Depression and created the conditions for seizures of power by the forces responsible for the Second World War: the Nazis and the Japanese military establishment. As Blyth amply demonstrates, the arguments for austerity are tenuous and the evidence thin. Rather than expanding growth and opportunity, the repeated revival of this dead economic idea has almost always led to low growth along with increases in wealth and income inequality. Austerity demolishes the conventional wisdom, marshaling an army of facts to demand that we austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.
Category: Political Science

Austerity

Author : Mark Blyth
ISBN : 9780199828302
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 82.91 MB
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Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013 Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts--austerity--to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer. That burden now takes the form of a global turn to austerity, the policy of reducing domestic wages and prices to restore competitiveness and balance the budget. The problem, according to political economist Mark Blyth, is that austerity is a very dangerous idea. First of all, it doesn't work. As the past four years and countless historical examples from the last 100 years show, while it makes sense for any one state to try and cut its way to growth, it simply cannot work when all states try it simultaneously: all we do is shrink the economy. In the worst case, austerity policies worsened the Great Depression and created the conditions for seizures of power by the forces responsible for the Second World War: the Nazis and the Japanese military establishment. As Blyth amply demonstrates, the arguments for austerity are tenuous and the evidence thin. Rather than expanding growth and opportunity, the repeated revival of this dead economic idea has almost always led to low growth along with increases in wealth and income inequality. Austerity demolishes the conventional wisdom, marshaling an army of facts to demand that we recognize austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.
Category: Business & Economics

Great Transformations

Author : Mark Blyth
ISBN : 0521010527
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 56.7 MB
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An analysis of political power of economic ideas used by domestic groups to effect change.
Category: Political Science

The Future Of The Euro

Author : Matthias Matthijs
ISBN : 9780190233242
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 81.35 MB
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"An attempt by political economists to analyze the fundamental causes of the euro crisis, determine how it can be fixed, and consider what likely futures lie ahead for the currency. The book makes three interrelated arguments that emphasize the primacy of political over economic factors. First, the 'euro problem' is discussed as the result of the single currency's fundamental lack of institutional embeddedness, insofar as its original design omitted three 'forgotten unions' alongside of monetary union: a financial and banking union, mutually supporting institutions of fiscal union and economic government, and a political union holding similar legitimacy to the nation-state. Second, the 'euro experience' shows how the euro's unfinished design led to economic divergence - quietly altering the existing distribution of economic and political power within Europe prior to the crisis - which in turn determined the EU's crisis response. The book highlights how the euro's four most important members - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - each changed once they adopted the euro, why the crisis affected them so differently, and how each has since struggled to live with the commitments the euro necessitates. Third, the book examines three possible 'euro futures' through the lens of the politics of its reluctant leader Germany; through the lens of the EU's capacity to 'move forward' through crises; and through the geopolitical lens of the international monetary system. The book concludes that any successful long-term solution to the euro's predicament needs to start with the political foundations of markets"--Publisher's description.
Category: Political Science

Politics In The Age Of Austerity

Author : Wolfgang Streeck
ISBN : 9780745670089
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 77.65 MB
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In a world of increasing austerity measures, democratic politics comes under pressure. With the need to consolidate budgets and to accommodate financial markets, the responsiveness of governments to voters declines. However, democracy depends on choice. Citizens must be able to influence the course of government through elections and if a change in government cannot translate into different policies, democracy is incapacitated. Many mature democracies are approaching this situation as they confront fiscal crisis. For almost three decades, OECD countries have - in fits and starts - run deficits and accumulated debt. As a result, an ever smaller part of government revenue is available today for discretionary spending and social investment and whichever party comes into office will find its hands tied by past decisions. The current financial and fiscal crisis has exacerbated the long-term shrinking government discretion; projects for political change have lost credibility. Many citizens are aware of this situation: they turn away from party politics and stay at home on Election Day. With contributions from leading scholars in the forefront of sociology, politics and economics, this timely book will be of great interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences as well as general readers.
Category: Political Science

Austerity

Author : Kerry-anne Mendoza
ISBN : 9781780262475
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 84.99 MB
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For the last five years, Britain has been under the hammer of ‘Austerity’. In its name, wages have been frozen, benefits have been slashed and public spending squeezed. The pain of a financial crisis caused by bankers and speculators has been borne by ordinary people all over the country – and by the poor and disabled most of all.
Category: Political Science

Zombie Economics

Author : John Quiggin
ISBN : 9780691154541
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 31.50 MB
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In the graveyard of economic ideology, dead ideas still stalk the land. The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism--the theory that market-based solutions are always best, regardless of the problem. For decades, their advocates dominated mainstream economics, and their influence created a system where an unthinking faith in markets led many to view speculative investments as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to have killed off these ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many--members of the public, commentators, politicians, economists, and even those charged with cleaning up the mess. In Zombie Economics, John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us--and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future. Zombie Economics takes the reader through the origins, consequences, and implosion of a system of ideas whose time has come and gone. These beliefs--that deregulation had conquered the financial cycle, that markets were always the best judge of value, that policies designed to benefit the rich made everyone better off--brought us to the brink of disaster once before, and their persistent hold on many threatens to do so again. Because these ideas will never die unless there is an alternative, Zombie Economics also looks ahead at what could replace market liberalism, arguing that a simple return to traditional Keynesian economics and the politics of the welfare state will not be enough--either to kill dead ideas, or prevent future crises. In a new chapter, Quiggin brings the book up to date with a discussion of the re-emergence of pre-Keynesian ideas about austerity and balanced budgets as a response to recession.
Category: Business & Economics

The Body Economic

Author : David Stuckler
ISBN : 9781443420464
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 26.81 MB
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An agenda-shaping look at the human costs of financial crisis—the culmination of ten years’ work by two pioneering researchers Politicians have talked endlessly about the seismic economic and social impact of the Great Recession, but many continue to ignore its disastrous effects on human health and have even exacerbated them by adopting harsh austerity measures and cutting key social programs at a time when citizens need them most. The result, as pioneering public health experts David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu reveal in this provocative book, is that many countries have turned their recessions into veritable epidemics, ruining or extinguishing thousands of lives in a misguided attempt to balance budgets and shore up financial markets. Yet sound alternative policies could help improve economies and protect public health at the same time. In The Body Economic, Stuckler and Basu mine data from around the globe and across history to show how government policy becomes a matter of life and death during financial crises. Through a series of case studies stretching from the United States in the 1930s to Russia and Indonesia in the 1990s and present-day Greece, Britain, Spain, Canada and America, Stuckler and Basu reveal that political mismanagement of financial crises has resulted in a grim array of human tragedies, including suicides, HIV infections, West Nile Virus and tuberculosis epidemics. Yet people can and do stay healthy, and even get healthier, during downturns. During the Great Depression, U.S. death rates actually plummeted, and today, people in Iceland, Norway and Japan are happier and healthier than ever. Full of shocking and counterintuitive revelations and bold policy recommendations, The Body Economic offers an alternative to austerity—one that will prevent widespread suffering, both now and in the future.
Category: Business & Economics

Constructing The International Economy

Author : Rawi Abdelal
ISBN : 9780801457005
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 22.65 MB
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Focusing empirically on how political and economic forces are always mediated and interpreted by agents, both in individual countries and in the international sphere, Constructing the International Economy sets out what such constructions and what various forms of constructivism mean, both as ways of understanding the world and as sets of varying methods for achieving that understanding. It rejects the assumption that material interests either linearly or simply determine economic outcomes and demands that analysts consider, as a plausible hypothesis, that economies might vary substantially for nonmaterial reasons that affect both institutions and agents' interests. Constructing the International Economy portrays the diversity of models and approaches that exist among constructivists writing on the international political economy. The authors outline and relate several different arguments for why scholars might attend to social construction, inviting the widest possible array of scholars to engage with such approaches. They examine points of terminological or theoretical confusion that create unnecessary barriers to engagement between constructivists and nonconstructivist work and among different types of constructivism. This book provides a tool kit that both constructivists and their critics can use to debate how much and when social construction matters in this deeply important realm. Contributors: Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School; Jacqueline Best, University of Ottawa; Mark Blyth, Brown University; Mlada Bukovansky, Smith College; Jeffrey M. Chwieroth, London School of Economics; Francesco Duina, Bates College; Charlotte Epstein, University of Sydney; Yoshiko M. Herrera, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Paul Langley, Northumbria University; Craig Parsons, University of Oregon; Catherine Weaver, University of Texas at Austin; Wesley W. Widmaier, Saint Joseph's University; Cornelia Woll, CERI-Sciences Po Paris
Category: Political Science