The Social Economics of Thorstein Veblen

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Book Review as published at the Economic History Association David Reisman, The Social Economics of Thorstein Veblen, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2012, vii + 338 pp. $150 (hardcover), ISBN978-0-85793-218-1. Those who wish to understand the many and deep contributions of Thorstein Veblen to economics will find that this offering falls short of the mark. The title promises to treat the social policy content of Veblen’s economic thought. Describing the ways in which markets were being distorted by predatory finance and other special interests, Veblen was read by every socialist leader and most progressives in early and mid-20th century America. Written in a popular sarcastic style, his books showed how the behavior of ...

Paul Krugman’s Economic Blinders

In Mr. Krugman’s reading, private debts need not be written down or the tax system made more efficient. It is to be better subsidized – mainly with easier bank credit and more government spending. So I am afraid that his book might as well have been subtitled “How the Economy can Borrow its Way Out of Debt.” That is what budget deficits do: they add to the debt overhead.

Tainted Transactions: An Exchange

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From The National Interest No. 60 A letter exchange in response to Janine Wedel's “Tainted Transactions: Harvard, Russia and the Chubais Clan” (Spring 2000). Participants: Jeffrey Sachs, Anders Aslund, Marek Dabrowski, Peter Reddaway, Igor Aristov, Wayne Merry, Michael Hudson, David Ellerman, Steven Rosefielde and Janine Wedel. Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Center for International Development, Harvard University: Janine Wedel, for the umpteenth time, repeats her phony diatribes against me ("Tainted Transactions: Harvard, the Chubais Clan and Russia’s Ruin", Spring 2000). Please permit me to correct the record. Despite Dr. Wedel’s weird insinuations that I had no advisory role with the Russian government, I was an official adviser to that government, but only for two years and two months, from December 1991 to January ...