We are experiencing an explosion of inequality to levels not seen since the darkest days of the nineteenth century, inequality, not just of wealth but, as George Monbiot suggested (The Guardian, 2nd April 2013), also of ‘decency, honesty and kindness’. His analysis is that the 99% have the virtues, while the 1% have the [...]
Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category
Unilever’s Paul Polman must be a Chief Executive in a million. Or more. In his interview with Guardian Sustainable Business, Polman calls on business leaders, politicians and NGOs to recognise they cannot deal with the world’s environmental and social challenges by pursuit of Milton Friedman’s target of maximising shareholder wealth. Polman names a few other [...]
During the initial phase of industrialisation, Adam Smith argued that a nation’s supply of ‘wants and conveniences’ depended mostly on the ‘skill, dexterity and judgment’ of its workers and the extent to which they were employed. His example was the pin factory in which, through specialisation of work tasks, productivity could be multiplied many thousand [...]
There is quite a catalogue of actual and potential man-made disasters. They include the risk of Greece defaulting on its debts, followed by Portugal, Ireland and the collapse of the Eurozone, the hollowing out of real economy firms particularly in the UK and to a slightly lesser extent the US, the explosion in inequality of [...]
Neoclassical free market orthodoxy, by which the world is still ruled, makes no distinction between real and speculative markets. Both are granted maximum freedom to grow. Speculative markets started as a strand within the financial sector which itself was brought into existence to support investment in the first industrialisation. But while the size of [...]
Empathise with the banker, trader or fund manager looking after other people’s money, whose performance on their behalf is continually assessed and reported as the basis for a position on a league table. Two options are on offer.
1. Invest in a start-up widget manufacturer creating new employment but only offering a return of 10-15% pa and [...]
An article in the current issue of Harvard Business Review, by eminent Harvard Business School economist, Michael Porter, and his business partner, consultant Mark Kramer, claims to be showing ‘how to reinvent capitalism – and unleash a wave of innovation and growth’. The secret is “Creating Shared Value”.
It criticises the ‘outdated approach to value creation [...]
Neo-classical microeconomic theory, especially in its more recent fundamentalist manifestations, has done immense damage to the real economy while nurturing the parasitic financial sector, as recounted from time to time elsewhere on this site.
Various alternative approaches have identified and addressed problems created by that theory. Welfare economics, the economics of social balance, and what is [...]
In a recent article in The New York Review of Books, Michael Tomasky suggested the lack of any alternative big theme gave the free marketeers a head start in shaping and continuing to dominate the United States economy. The free market big theme may have been planted by Adam Smith, but it developed on the [...]
The desire to return to business as usual isn’t restricted to the obscenity of bankers’ bonuses. That same desire is shared by unemployed potters in Stoke on Trent, car workers in Detroit, and the governing politicians in London and Washington who are presiding over their people’s misery.
However, for the millions in China’s (not to [...]