Austerity vs Stimulus

The Political Future of Economic Recovery

Author: Robert Skidelsky,Nicolò Fraccaroli

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319504398

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 183

View: 5399

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This timely book debates the economic and political logic of the austerity policies that have been implemented in the UK and in the Eurozone since 2010 and asks whether there is any alternative for these countries in the years ahead. The work reconsiders the austerity versus stimulus debate through the voices of those who proposed the successful idea of expansionary austerity and those who opposed it. The editors have brought together a collection of articles written by some of the most notable figures in the discipline, including the likes of Alberto Alesina, Ken Rogoff, Tim Besley, David Graeber, Vince Cable, and Paul Krugman. The book also features the debate between Niall Ferguson and Robert Skidelsky. These leading thinkers unveil a world where economists are far from agreeing on economic policy, and where politics often dominates the discussion. The question of whether the British government should have opted for austerity runs through the book, as well as how sustained economic recovery should be encouraged in the future. Scholars, students and members of the general public with an interest in the financial crisis and its lingering aftermath will find this work invaluable.

Austerity vs Stimulus

The Political Future of Economic Recovery

Author: Robert Skidelsky,Nicolò Fraccaroli

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN: 9783319504384

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 183

View: 4101

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This timely book debates the economic and political logic of the austerity policies that have been implemented in the UK and in the Eurozone since 2010 and asks whether there is any alternative for these countries in the years ahead. The work reconsiders the austerity versus stimulus debate through the voices of those who proposed the successful idea of expansionary austerity and those who opposed it. The editors have brought together a collection of articles written by some of the most notable figures in the discipline, including the likes of Alberto Alesina, Ken Rogoff, Tim Besley, David Graeber, Vince Cable, and Paul Krugman. The book also features the debate between Niall Ferguson and Robert Skidelsky. These leading thinkers unveil a world where economists are far from agreeing on economic policy, and where politics often dominates the discussion. The question of whether the British government should have opted for austerity runs through the book, as well as how sustained economic recovery should be encouraged in the future. Scholars, students and members of the general public with an interest in the financial crisis and its lingering aftermath will find this work invaluable.

Debtors' Prison

The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility

Author: Robert Kuttner

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101910526

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 4994

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One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today's financial orthodoxy: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government—“austerity”—is the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or Europe's, now in its fifth year. Since the collapse of September 2008, the conversation about economic recovery has centered on the question of debt: whether we have too much of it, whose debt to forgive, and how to cut the deficit. These questions dominated the sound bites of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the fiscal-cliff debates, and the perverse policies of the European Union. Robert Kuttner makes the most powerful argument to date that these are the wrong questions and that austerity is the wrong answer. Blending economics with historical contrasts of effective debt relief and punitive debt enforcement, he makes clear that universal belt-tightening, as a prescription for recession, defies economic logic. And while the public debt gets most of the attention, it is private debts that crashed the economy and are sandbagging the recovery—mortgages, student loans, consumer borrowing to make up for lagging wages, speculative shortfalls incurred by banks. As Kuttner observes, corporations get to use bankruptcy to walk away from debts. Homeowners and small nations don't. Thus, we need more public borrowing and investment to revive a depressed economy, and more forgiveness and reform of the overhang of past debts. In making his case, Kuttner uncovers the double standards in the politics of debt, fromRobinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe's campaign for debt forgiveness in the seventeenth century to the two world wars and Bretton Woods. Just as debtors' prisons once prevented individuals from surmounting their debts and resuming productive life, austerity measures shackle, rather than restore, economic growth—as the weight of past debt crushes the economy's future potential. Above all, Kuttner shows how austerity serves only the interest of creditors—the very bankers and financial elites whose actions precipitated the collapse. Lucid, authoritative, provocative—a book that will shape the economic conversation and the search for new solutions.

Money Well Spent?

The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History

Author: Michael Grabell

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610390105

Category: Political Science

Page: 416

View: 3692

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The 2012 presidential campaign will, above all else, be a referendum on the Obama administration's handling of the financial crisis, recalling the period when Obama's “audacity of hope” met the austerity of reality. Central to this is the ''American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009''—the largest economic recovery plan in American history. Senator Mitch McConnell gave a taste of the enormity of the money committed: if you had spent 1 million a day since Jesus was born, it still would not add up to the price tag of the stimulus package. A nearly entirely partisan piece of legislation— Democrats voted for it, Republicans against— the story of how the bill was passed and, more importantly, how the money was spent and to what effect, is known barely at all. Stepping outside the political fray, ProPublica's Michael Grabell offers a perceptive, balanced, and dramatic story of what happened to the tax payers' money, pursuing the big question through behind-the-scenes interviews and on-the-ground reporting in more than a dozen states across the country.

The Body Economic

Why Austerity Kills

Author: David Stuckler,Sanjay Basu

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465063977

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 240

View: 1880

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Politicians have talked endlessly about the seismic economic and social impacts of the recent financial crisis, but many continue to ignore its disastrous effects on human health—and have even exacerbated them, by adopting harsh austerity measures and cutting key social programs at a time when constituents need them most. The result, as pioneering public health experts David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu reveal in this provocative book, is that many countries have turned their recessions into veritable epidemics, ruining or extinguishing thousands of lives in a misguided attempt to balance budgets and shore up financial markets. Yet sound alternative policies could instead help improve economies and protect public health at the same time. In The Body Economic, Stuckler and Basu mine data from around the globe and throughout history to show how government policy becomes a matter of life and death during financial crises. In a series of historical case studies stretching from 1930s America, to Russia and Indonesia in the 1990s, to present-day Greece, Britain, Spain, and the U.S., Stuckler and Basu reveal that governmental mismanagement of financial strife has resulted in a grim array of human tragedies, from suicides to HIV infections. Yet people can and do stay healthy, and even get healthier, during downturns. During the Great Depression, U.S. deaths actually plummeted, and today Iceland, Norway, and Japan are happier and healthier than ever, proof that public wellbeing need not be sacrificed for fiscal health. Full of shocking and counterintuitive revelations and bold policy recommendations, The Body Economic offers an alternative to austerity—one that will prevent widespread suffering, both now and in the future.

The End of Normal

The Great Crisis and the Future of Growth

Author: James K. Galbraith

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451644930

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 1547

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"The years since the Great Crisis of 2008 have seen slow growth, high unemployment, falling home values, chronic deficits, a deepening disaster in Europe--and a stale argument between two false solutions, "austerity" on one side and "stimulus" on the other. Both sides and practically all analyses of the crisis so far take for granted that the economic growth from the early 1950s until 2000--interrupted only by the troubled 1970s--represented a normal performance. From this perspective the crisis was an interruption, caused by bad policy or bad people, and full recovery is to be expected if the cause is corrected. The End of Normal challenges this view. Placing the crisis in perspective, Galbraith argues that the 1970s already ended the age of easy growth. The 1980s and 1990s saw only uneven growth, with rising inequality within and between countries. And the 2000s saw the end even of that--despite frantic efforts to keep growth going with tax cuts, war spending, and financial deregulation. When the crisis finally came, stimulus and automatic stabilization were able to place a floor under economic collapse. But they are not able to bring about a return to high growth and full employment. Today, four factors impede a return to normal. They are the rising costs of real resources, the now-evident futility of military power, the labor-saving consequences of the digital revolution, and the breakdown of law and ethics in the financial sector. The Great Crisis should be seen as a turning point, a barometer of the rise of unstable economic conditions, which should be regarded as the new normal. Policies and institutions going forward should be designed, above all, modestly, to cope with this fact, maintaining conditions for a good life in difficult times"--

How Much is Enough?

Money and the Good Life

Author: Robert Skidelsky,Edward Skidelsky

Publisher: Other Press, LLC

ISBN: 1590515080

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 5047

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A provocative and timely call for a moral approach to economics, drawing on philosophers, political theorists, writers, and economists from Aristotle to Marx to Keynes. What constitutes the good life? What is the true value of money? Why do we work such long hours merely to acquire greater wealth? These are some of the questions that many asked themselves when the financial system crashed in 2008. This book tackles such questions head-on. The authors begin with the great economist John Maynard Keynes. In 1930 Keynes predicted that, within a century, per capita income would steadily rise, people’s basic needs would be met, and no one would have to work more than fifteen hours a week. Clearly, he was wrong: though income has increased as he envisioned, our wants have seemingly gone unsatisfied, and we continue to work long hours. The Skidelskys explain why Keynes was mistaken. Then, arguing from the premise that economics is a moral science, they trace the concept of the good life from Aristotle to the present and show how our lives over the last half century have strayed from that ideal. Finally, they issue a call to think anew about what really matters in our lives and how to attain it. How Much Is Enough? is that rarity, a work of deep intelligence and ethical commitment accessible to all readers. It will be lauded, debated, cited, and criticized. It will not be ignored.

The Shifts and the Shocks

What We've Learned--and Have Still to Learn--from the Financial Crisis

Author: Martin Wolf

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101608447

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 528

View: 7226

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From the chief economic commentator for the Financial Times—a brilliant tour d’horizon of the new global economy There have been many books that have sought to explain the causes and courses of the financial and economic crisis that began in 2007. The Shifts and the Shocks is not another detailed history of the crisis but is the most persuasive and complete account yet published of what the crisis should teach us about modern economies and econom­ics. Written with all the intellectual command and trenchant judgment that have made Martin Wolf one of the world’s most influential economic com­mentators, The Shifts and the Shocks matches impressive analysis with no-holds-barred criti­cism and persuasive prescription for a more stable future. It is a book no one with an interest in global affairs will want to neglect. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Keynes

The Return of the Master

Author: Robert Skidelsky

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610390032

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 1013

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In the debris of the financial crash of 2008, the principles of John Maynard Keynes—that economic storms are a normal part of the market system, that governments need to step in and use fiscal ammunition to prevent these storms from becoming depressions, and that societies that value the pursuit of money should reprioritize—are more pertinent and applicable than ever. In Keynes: The Return of the Master, Robert Skidelsky brilliantly synthesizes Keynes career and life, and offers nervous capitalists a positive answer to the question we now face: When unbridled capitalism falters, is there an alternative?

The Body Economic

Eight experiments in economic recovery, from Iceland to Greece

Author: David Stuckler,Sanjay Basu

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141976039

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 240

View: 1303

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The global financial crisis has had a seismic impact upon the wealth of nations. But we have little sense of how it affects one of the most fundamental issues of all: our physical and mental health. This highly significant new book, based on the authors' own groundbreaking research, looks at the daily lives of people affected by financial crisis, from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to post-communist Russia, to the US foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s. Why, it asks, did Sweden experience a fall in suicides during its banking crisis? What triggered a mosquito-borne epidemic in California in 2007? What caused 10 million Russian men to 'disappear' in the 1990s? Why is Greece experiencing rocketing HIV rates? And how did the health of Americans actually improve during the catastrophic crisis of the 1930s? The conclusions it draws are both surprising and compelling: remarkably, when faced with similar crises, the health of some societies - like Iceland - improves, while that of others, such as Greece, deteriorates. Even amid the worst economic disasters, negative public health effects are not inevitable: it's how communities respond to challenges of debt and market turmoil that counts. The Body Economic puts forward a radical proposition. Austerity, it argues, is seriously bad for your health. We can prevent financial crises from becoming epidemics, but to do so, we must acknowledge what the hard data tells us: that, throughout history, there is a causal link between the strength of a community's health and its social protection systems. Now and for generations to come, our commitment to the building of fairer, more equal societies will determine the health of our body economic.

Who Runs the Economy?

The Role of Power in Economics

Author: Robert Skidelsky,Nan Craig

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137580178

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 146

View: 9029

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Since the financial crisis of 2008 and the following Great Recession, there has been surprisingly little change in the systems of ideas, institutions and policies which preceded the crash and helped bring it about. 'Mainstream' economics carries on much as it did before. Despite much discussion of what went wrong, very little has substantially changed. Perhaps the answer has something to do with power; a subject on which economics is unusually quiet. Whilst economics may be able to discuss bargaining power and market power, it fails to explore the reciprocal connections between economic ideas and politics: the political power of economic ideas on the one side, and the influence of power structures on economic thought on the other. This book explores how the supposedly neutral discipline of economics does not simply describe human behaviour, but in fact shapes it.

The Age of Austerity

How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics

Author: Thomas Byrne Edsall

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385535201

Category: Political Science

Page: 208

View: 3805

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One of our most prescient political observers provides a sobering account of how pitched battles over scarce resources will increasingly define American politics in the coming years—and how we might avoid, or at least mitigate, the damage from these ideological and economic battles. In a matter of just three years, a bitter struggle over limited resources has enveloped political discourse at every level in the United States. Fights between haves and have-nots over health care, unemployment benefits, funding for mortgage write-downs, economic stimulus legislation—and, at the local level, over cuts in police protection, garbage collection, and in the number of teachers—have dominated the debate. Elected officials are being forced to make zero-sum choices—or worse, choices with no winners. Resource competition between Democrats and Republicans has left each side determined to protect what it has at the expense of the other. The major issues of the next few years—long-term deficit reduction; entitlement reform, notably of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; major cuts in defense spending; and difficulty in financing a continuation of American international involvement—suggest that your-gain-is-my-loss politics will inevitably intensify.

The New New Deal

The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era

Author: Michael Grunwald

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451642326

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 518

View: 9692

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Reveals lesser-known aspects of the stimulus bill while explaining how the Obama administration's progressive steps have prevented an imminent depression while supporting clean energy, health care, education reform, and other positive agendas.

The Political Economy of the European Social Model

Author: Philip Whyman,Mark Baimbridge,Andrew Mullen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415476291

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 398

View: 7410

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This book seeks to analyse the development of the European Union (EU), which was founded upon the principle of the free movement of capital, goods, services and people in 1957. Its central thesis is that, from a practical and theoretical point of view, such a basis is fundamentally at odds with the creation of an interventionist regime that the construction of a social Europe would require. The authors argue convincingly that - economically: the EU does not currently possess the budget or the economic tools to pursue such a strategy; politically: close to none of the institutions of the EU have backed such a policy; practically: conservative and neo-liberal forces (among member states and the institutions of the EU) have repeatedly thwarted any moves in this direction. In reality, the Single Internal Market, Economic and Monetary Union, enlargement, the Lisbon Agenda and European Constitution projects all prioritise supply-side measures and expanding the scope of the market rather than the boosting of demand and other economic intervention. Consequently, constructing a social Europe in the face of this would appear problematic. Hence, in both theory and practice, the idea that there can be a social Europe vis-à-vis neoliberalisation is a contradiction in terms. This controversial book will be an educating and refreshing read for advanced students and academics involved with European politics, the European Union, European Economics and Economic instititutions.

Hall of Mirrors

The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses-And Misuses-of History

Author: Barry Eichengreen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190621079

Category:

Page: 520

View: 9276

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"A brilliantly conceived dual-track account of the two greatest economic crises of the last century and their consequences"--

Children of Austerity

Impact of the Great Recession on Child Poverty in Rich Countries

Author: Bea Cantillon,Yekaterina Chzhen,Brian Nolan,Sudhanshu Handa

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198797966

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 384

View: 5328

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The 2008 financial crisis triggered the worst global recession since the Great Depression. Many OECD countries responded to the crisis by reducing social spending. Through 11 diverse country case studies (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States), this volume describes the evolution of child poverty and material well-being during the crisis, and links these outcomes with the responses by governments. The analysis underlines that countries with fragmented social protection systems were less able to protect the incomes of households with children at the time when unemployment soared. In contrast, countries with more comprehensive social protection cushioned the impact of the crisis on households with children, especially if they had implemented fiscal stimulus packages at the onset of the crisis. Although the macroeconomic 'shock' itself and the starting positions differed greatly across countries, while the responses by governments covered a very wide range of policy levers and varied with their circumstances, cuts in social spending and tax increases often played a major role in the impact that the crisis had on the living standards of families and children.

The Road to Recovery

How and Why Economic Policy Must Change

Author: Andrew Smithers

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118515692

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 360

View: 8138

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Renowned economist Andrew Smithers offers prescriptive advice and economic theory on avoiding the next financial crisis In The Road to Recovery, Andrew Smithers—one of a handful of respected economists to have accurately predicted the most recent global financial crisis—argues that the neoclassical consensus governing global economic decision-making must be revised in order to avoid the next financial collapse. He argues that the current low interest rates and budget deficits have prevented the recession becoming a depression but that those policies cannot be continuously repeated and a new consensus for action must be found. He offers practical guidance on reducing government, household, and business debt; changing the economic incentives for the management class that currently inhibit long-term growth; and rebalancing national economies both internally and externally. Further, he explains how central bankers must broaden the economic theories that guide their decisions to include the major factors of debt and asset prices. Offers practical, real-world economic policies for restructuring and rebalancing the global economic system Presents a modern economic theory for preventing the next collapse Ideal for economists, investors, fund managers, and central bankers Written by an economist described by the legendary Barton Biggs as "one of the five best, most dispassionate, erudite analysts in the world" As the global economy continues the long climb out of recession, it's imperative that central bankers and other economic decision-makers not repeat the mistakes of the past. The Road to Recovery offers prescriptive guidance on redesigning an economic system that is healthy, stable, and beneficial to all.

Britain's Economic Performance

Author: Tony Buxton,Paul Chapman,Paul Temple

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134751842

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 608

View: 4862

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This new and substantially revised edition of Britain's Economic Performance provides a unique assessment of the current state of the supply-side of the economy. Written by a team of highly experienced, policy oriented applied economists, this volume will be a valuable source of reference, analysis and guidance for students and policy-makers.