Friday, April 20, 2012

New economic thinking?

After 35 years of neoliberal hegemony in the economics profession, a push-back by some other worldview was probably inevitable.  This is especially true since neoliberalism has been such an astounding failure by almost every metric imaginable.

A new organization that calls itself the Institute for New Economic Thinking just held a conference in Berlin from April 12-15.  Some of the old warhorses like Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen are part of this.  And much of the funding is coming from that crooked old currency speculator George Soros.  So folks could be excused for believing that this is one of those safety-valve organizations that make some minor gestures at progressive thinking but is really just an effort to keep the young hotshots (who can easily see the catastrophe that the economics profession has become) from wandering too far off the reservation.

But the following speech is actually pretty exciting.  Dirk Bezemer, Associate Professor, University of Groningen in Holland, is seen speaking at the breakout panel entitled "How Can We Create a Financial System That Is Socially Useful?" at the Institute for New Economic Thinking's (INET) Paradigm Lost Conference in Berlin. April 14, 2012.  Here is a young man who structures his talk around the notion that there is a significant difference between the financing needs of the real economy and that of an economy driven by speculation in property.  My kind of guy!

As for how "new" this thinking is...  I would say that my college professors taught things like this in 1972 and that the ideas go back to at least the 19th century.  But they are certainly new in the sense that they have not been taught for at least 35 years so it IS encouraging to see such a smart young man who gets it—even IF he is reinventing the wheel.  Just remember, re-inventing something is just as difficult as inventing it the first time if the history of the first effort has been lost or destroyed.  Considering this young man has been surrounded by nothing BUT neoliberal bullshit his whole life, his climb out that cesspool of ignorance is even more remarkable.

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