Synopses & Reviews
Debunking Economics - Revised and Expanded Edition, now including a downloadable supplement for courses, exposes what many non-economists may have suspected and a minority of economists have long known: that economic theory is not only unpalatable, but also plain wrong. When the original Debunking Economics was published back in 2001, the market economy seemed invincible, and conventional "neoclassical" economic theory basked in the limelight. Steve Keen argued that economists deserved none of the credit for the economy's performance, and "The false confidence it has engendered in the stability of the market economy has encouraged policy-makers to dismantle some of the institutions which initially evolved to try to keep its instability within limits." That instability exploded with the devastating financial crisis of 2007, and now haunts the global economy with the prospect of another Depression. In this expanded and updated new edition, Keen builds on his scathing critique of conventional economic theory while explaining what mainstream economists cannot: why the crisis occurred, why it is proving to be intractable, and what needs to be done to end it. Essential for anyone who has ever doubted the advice or reasoning of economists, Debunking Economics - Revised and Expanded Edition provides a signpost to a better future.
Praise for the First Edition: "Debunking Economics
may not delight economic conservatives, but it is certainly necessary. Our hope must be that it will be read by enough people to prompt reform of our economic thinking and save our endangered societies" -- James Cumes, author of How to Become a Millionaire without Really Working
"Particularly useful to those, like myself, who are interested in economics but not formally trained in it. Debunking Economics
reveals that neoclassical economic doctrines are faulty...because the fundamental assumptions from which such doctrines have been derived are less than self-evident." -- Henry C.K. Liu, Chairman, Liu Investment Group
"If you are interested in how the economy really works (and want to challenge an economist) then read this book." -- James Dick, Professional Members Division, The Economic Society of Australia
"Keen's serious but accessible look at the shaky logical and mathematical foundations of neoclassical economics will be of great interest to students and open-minded economists alike. And his insightful survey of alternative schools of thought lends substance to his call for a new economics." -- Don Goldstein, Associate Professor of Economics, Allegheny College
"A wide-ranging yet accessible critique of the staples of neoclassical pedagogy." --Alan G. Isaac, Associate Professor of Economics, American University
"This text carefully follows the form of argument familiar to all economics undergraduates, through to conclusions from which under-graduates are more usually protected. Avoiding polemic or hyperbole, the case that he presents is all the more damning for its clarity and systematic approach." --John M. Legge, Associate Professor, LaTrobe University
"Debunking Economics...will transform the way economics is taught and thought." --Jan Otto Andersson, Professor of Economics, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
"Professional economists include their own best critics. Steve Keen is one of the very best...translating the algebra into plain language, he deploys a devastating theoretical attack on neoclassical theory." --Hugh Stretton, Fellow of the Academies of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and author of Economics: A New Introduction
"Refreshingly provocative." -- Geoffrey Fishburn, Department of Economics, University of New South Wales
and#8220;Most economists worship the market, describing it as a fair, impersonal arbiter of efficiency. Hahnel brilliantly debunks this religion, providing powerful explanations of market failures on both micro- and macroeconomic levels. He combines clear exposition and mathematical illustration with a compelling passion for progressive social change.and#8221;
and#8220;A contribution of great value.and#8221;
and#8220;Must our economic lives be dominated by greed and competition? Free market economists have long answered yes. The ABCs of Political Economy shows, however, that what they and#8216;knowand#8217; is not so. Hahnel writes with clarity, originality, verve, and a relentless moral passion.and#8221;
andquot;Hahnel has developed an especially powerful perspective by combining an education in conventional economic philosophy with an even more unusual capacity to apply his training to exploring ways that the economy and society could be reorganized in ways to increase human welfare rather than individual profits andandnbsp;increased personal consumption. The ABCs in the title should not be taken to imply a dumbed-down version of an important subject but rather a clear, coherent, and jargon-free explanatory sketch of how the rational society Hahnel envisions could work. . . . Highly recommended.andquot;
“Mary Mellor has a superb understanding of the nature of money, of the institutions that underpin our monetary system, and of the economic frameworks within which monetary systems operate. I have looked forward to the publication of this book and highly recommend it to readers. Because money is nothing more than civilization's social and economic relationships expressed in monetary terms, it should be a matter of intense focus of study for sociologists, as well as economists. Sadly, neither discipline has paid the subject sufficient attention. Mary Mellor is one of two fine sociologists (the other is Geoffrey Ingham) who writes authoritatively about money—and whose writing is highly accessible.”
“By challenging entrenched myths about money and economic value, Mary Mellor demonstrates the need to change the way in which money is created, in order to stop the private sector undermining the public sector and enable a shift to an economy that is environmentally sustainable and socially just. Fresh, clear, and incisive.”
“Prospering without growth requires reclaiming the creation of money from private banks. Now that even the likes of the IMF and the Bank of England entertain the idea of public money, how money is to be made public is as important as ever. And Mary Mellor's book has the right answers.”
“An insightful and thought-provoking analysis. This book clearly shows why a monetary system based on debt inevitably leads to crisis.”
In the wake of the economic disasters of the past decade, perhaps we could all use a refresher course in economics to help us understand. The ABCs of Political Economy
provides a lively and accessible introduction to modern political economy. In this compelling book, informed by the work of such eminent economic philosophers as Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, Michal Kalecki, Joan Robinson, and Hyman Minksy, Robin Hahnel provides the essential tools to comprehend todayandrsquo;s economic crises.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Hahnel explains the origins of the financial crisis of 2008, the ensuing andldquo;Great Recession,andrdquo; and why government policies in Europe and North America over the past six years have failed to improve matters for the majority of their citizens. It also helps explain the economic causes of climate change and what will be required if it is to be resolved effectively and fairly. The ABCs of Political Economy is perfect for anyone who wants to equip themselves with the ability to grasp as well as challenge existing preconceptions of political economy.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, most of the discussion has been focused on questions of debt. And the response, almost uniformly, has been austerity and privatization: cuts to services that have been painted as forms of reckless spending by a bloated public sector. In Debt or Democracy
, Mary Mellor turns the whole conversation upside down, showing that the important question is not who owes what, but who controls the creation and circulation of money in the first place. When the problem is examined from that angle, it becomes clear that privatization, far from being the answer to our problem, is the very source of it—the subordination of public finance to private interest.
A direct challenge to conventional economic thinking, Debt or Democracy offers a bracing new analysis of our economic crisis and offers cogent, radical alternatives to create a more just and sustainable economic future.
About the Author
Robin Hahnel is professor emeritus of economics at American University in Washington DC. He is author of Economic Justice and Democracy; Green Economics; and Of the People, By the People: The Case for a Participatory Economy.
Table of Contents
No More Mr Nice Guy: Why the public needs to know that economics is intellectually unsound * The Calculus of Hedonism: Why the pursuit of individual self-interest does not maximise social welfare * The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing: Why most products cost less to produce as output rises * Size Does Matter: Why the economic argument against monopolies is invalid * To Each According to His Contribution: Why productivity doesn't determine wages * The Holy War over Capital: Why the productivity of capital doesn't determine profits * There is Madness in their Method: Why assumptions do matter * Let's Do the Time Warp Again: Why economics must finally treat time seriously * The Sum of the Parts: Why Keynes's criticisms of conventional economics are still relevant today * The Price is Not Right: Why finance markets can get the price of assets so badly wrong * Finance and Economic Breakdown: Why stock markets crash * Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano: Why mathematics is not the problem 13. Nothing to lose but their minds: Why Marxists are irrelevant, but Marx is not * There Are Alternatives: Why there is still hope for a better economics