Beyond the Profits System: Possibilities for the Post-Capitalist Era (New Economics)
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Since 2008, we have found ourselves confronted by an historic financial holocaust that world leaders have struggled to come to terms with. All have willfully ignored its long-term, systemic causes and are thus unable to chart a way to survival. As explained by Harry Shutt – who was almost alone in foreseeing such a disaster in the 1990s (in The Trouble with Capitalism) their continued denial stems from a vested interest in maintaining a capitalist profits system which is not only as destructive as it was in the 1930s but as outmoded as feudalism was in 1789. Thus it can now only be sustained by an increasing reliance to official misinformation, massive criminal fraud and the ever greater dependence of private corporations on state subsidy.
This book makes clear why the desperate resort of Western governments to 'extraordinary measures' to try and avert economic collapse is bound to fail. It also forcefully demonstrates why our only hope of reversing the tide is to abandon the traditional economic logic of endlessly expanding production in favour of responding to the aspirations of ordinary people. Such a transformation, argues Shutt, would make possible the allocation of resources to more socially desirable ends, including the assurance of basic economic security for all as a right of citizenship.
Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs) was to use the first tranche, amounting to $700 billion, to buy up a significant proportion of the banks’ ‘troubled assets’ – a euphemism for toxic waste. However, once it became clear that these securities, which had never been traded on any public exchange, might turn out to have little or no market value – against the vast sums they represented on the banks’ balance sheets – it was decided to devote the funds to other purposes rather than test their
evidently the most cost-effective type of investment for reducing global warming – energy conservation – since this would reduce production and consumption of energy, to the detriment of corporate profits; and 3. to marginalise those environmental problems, such as air and land pollution, which could be largely solved at national level, in favour of focusing mainly on that of climate change, which can only be dealt with, if at all, by international agreement (the net effect of which,
value-added, cross-border trade and capital flows would need to be regulated by international agreement – so that globalisation would cease to be a ‘race to the bottom’ for all countries. Self-evidently, this implies that trade flows must as far as possible be managed with a bias in favour of the poorest countries, so that they can be enabled to close the gap in living standards with the industrialised nations. This would mean not only allowing them to provide their producers of goods and
era. This would entail: 1. The decriminalisation of narcotic drugs – that is, putting their supply and use on the same (licensed) basis as alcohol and tobacco. While it is hard to quantify the net financial savings that would result – huge savings in terms of law enforcement and imprisonment of convicts, to be partly offset by the increased resources devoted to treatment of addiction – they would be far exceeded by the immeasurable social cost savings in terms of human suffering of those,
proprietor of a business – to supply a given product or service depends on the collective capacity and insights of others within society, both living and dead, from which it follows that all may reasonably be entitled to a share in the product of this ‘cognitive capital’.8 In this sense those receiving basic income as a right of citizenship without necessarily doing any measurable work (other than what might be required of them as an emblematic contribution of, say, annual community service)