Innocuous Proclaimations

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This is a transcript from Meet the Renegades with economist Michael Hudson and interviewer Ross Ashcroft. You can watch the full interview with Michael here. Michael Hudson: I’m Michael Hudson. I’m a professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and Peking University. My focus is on the distinction between the financial economy and the real economy at large. I treat the financial sector and debt as an economic overhead, so my focus is on how society can deal with the debt and to explain why society cannot recover from the current depression until it writes down the debts to what can be paid. Ross Ashcroft: Michael, we’re almost a decade on since 2008 and we sit here now in the developed west and we look at the global economy. To ...

Piketty vs. the Classical Economic Reformers

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As published in the Real World Economics Review #69 - Special issue on Piketty’s Capital Thomas Piketty has done a great service in collating the data of many countries to quantify the ebb and flow of their distribution of wealth and income. For hundreds of pages and tables, his measurements confirm what most people sense without needing statistical proof. Across the globe the top 1% have increased their share of wealth and income to the steepest extreme since the Gilded Age of the late 19th and early 20th century. The Federal Reserve’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances shows that economic polarization has accelerated since the 2008 crash. The 0.1% of Americans have pulled even further ahead of the rest of the 1%, who in turn have widened their gains over the remainder ...

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 wealth and high finance was having perverse effects after World ...