Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Occupy Economics | 300 Economists Who Stand With #OccupyWallStreet

We are excited about the widening of economic discourse in America. If nothing else comes about from the OWS movement, those who have stood up for Americans can be proud that they have forced a fresh conversation into the public sphere.

Make sure you read mission following the video.

Spotted at MoveOn | Source Econ4

ECON4 Mission Statement
The economic crisis we face today is not only a crisis of the economy. It is also a crisis of economics. The free-market fundamentalism that attained ideological dominance in the final decades of the 20th century has been discredited by financial collapse, global imbalances, mass unemployment, and environmental degradation. To confront these challenges, we need an economics for the 21st century.

We need an economics for open minds that breaks free of the closed-minded economic dogmas of the past. We need an economics that aims to secure long-run human well-being, not an economics preoccupied with maximizing short-run output and profits. We need an economics that recognizes that we need to safeguard the Earth for our children and generations to come. We need an economics for people, the planet, and the future.

The Challenge
Economics for our times and for our shared future requires profound departures from the orthodox economics of the past. To secure long-run human well-being, an economy must meet four necessary conditions:
  • A level playing field: Every child ought to have equivalent opportunities for economic advancement. A child’s life chances should not depend upon accidents of birth such as race, gender, or parental income. Access to food, health care, education, and a clean and safe environment are basic human rights. These are not commodities that ought to be allocated on the basis of purchasing power, nor privileges to be bestowed on the basis of political power. A level playing field requires fairness in the distribution of these elements of private and social wealth.
  • Resilience: A healthy economy is a resilient economy able to withstand unanticipated shocks. To borrow a metaphor from the physical sciences, resilience is the ability to bounce without breaking. We can build resilience into our economy and its infrastructure by following the design principles of diversity and dispersion. The aim is not to maximize “efficiency” at a single point in time, but rather to minimize economic vulnerability over time.
  • True-cost pricing: The prices that guide economic decisions in markets and government policies must be based on a full accounting of costs and benefits. When costs such as pollution – or benefits such as care for children and the elderly – are hidden from view, the result is implicit subsidies and taxes that deflect incentives away from the goal of long-run well-being. Costs that are hidden from view can grow over time, as in the case of global warming pollution; and benefits that are hidden from view can erode over time, as in the provision of unpaid labor for care of dependents. A full accounting of costs and benefits does not mean that non-monetary aspects of well-being such as liberty, community, and life expectancy must be translated into dollars and cents. It means that non-market values should not be ignored and thereby effectively valued at zero.
  • Real democracy: An effective economy requires transparency, accountability, and democratic governance. Institutions in the private, non-profit and public sectors alike will serve long-run well-being only if safeguarded from capture by powerful players pursuing their own myopic self-interest. This can be secured only by a democratic distribution of power. A central goal of education, including economics education, must be to equip students for a life of active citizenship.
These are the central pillars of Econ4: economics for people, for the planet, and for the future. The following table lists some of the key differences between a healthy economy organized on Econ4 principles and our currently ailing economy that has been guided by the economic orthodoxy of the past:
Here's to the possibility of a better world,

No comments: