Economic apocalypse? …a versioning

Embed from Getty Images  Afloat in the economic ocean?   Are we heading for a new depression, economic collapse or is the ‘great recovery’ under way? Thomas Carlyle is credited, in reference to the work of Malthus, as characterising economics as a ‘dismal science’. The truth appears to be more prosaic. Carlyle was, in fact, writing about the promotion of slavery, the better to regulate labour and markets. Read more here. A wonderful example of how pragmatic economic theory changes over time. Not to say that sometimes the moral ascendancy can triumph over cash! It is ironic that economists, in wrangling with future financial forecasts, gambling in all but name in a free market, should so often be wrong or just plain at odds with each other. In this short article we look a set of distinct economic analysis, leaving it to the reader to cleave to the one most favoured. What does the future really hold, perhaps we will only know when we get there? In the mainstream: Weekly Economics Podcast on Twitter: www.twitter.com/weeklyeconpod Olivier Vardakoulias Twitter: www.twitter.com/o_vardakoulias Kirsty Styles on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kirstystyles1 This is is the first of a revised New Economics Foundation weekly podcast on matters economic, always available on SoundCloud. The message from economist Olivier Vardakoulias is cogent, articulate and persuasive. It tracks the major players and movements in world commodity and financial affairs across the coming year, but it does not question the veracity or effectiveness of the market mechanism, nor does it decline to…

Read more content here…

The Economic Case
for Strong Trade Unions

Embed from Getty Images Hammering the foundations of prosperity… The New Economics Foundation (nef) and The University of Greenwich have recently published a new economic case for trade unions. Entitled Working for The Economy, it is a detailed and numerate assessment in the decline of trade unions over the twentieth century and the policy impacts that conflict has caused. The report also makes a strong case for their resurgence, arguing that as a ‘wage driven’ economy, the UK benefits from the rise in wages and conditions attributed to strong work place representation. The report is keen to stress that, although wages and salaries are a cost to business, it is too simplistic to discount the purchasing power extended to workers through their ability to consume. ‘If wages fall as a share of income, it implies a shrinking market. The result is a drag on profiits and growth‘. This is an important principal consideration. The idealogical defeat of collective bargaining and the suppression of wage costs by owners of capital, in itself, diminishes the very market they are attempting to exploit. The detail below illustrates the fall of ‘wage share’ across Europe in the last fifty years…     For every 1% reduction in the share of national income going to wages, UK national income – measured by GDP – is reduced by 0.13%, or £2.21bn at current values. Wage share has declined from its 1975 peak of 76% to an historic low of 67% today; this has had a direct…

Read more content here…

Seeing the light of day?

Embed from Getty Images   Collective Conversations is a new journal of the left, featuring socio-political analysis, thought, reflections and news from the interface between policy and people, commmerce and community. Subscribe by email or our rss newsfeed for regular, free updates and talking points… Leaning to the Left, thinking independently and arguing for humanity… this web journal is designed to engage with our community of interest and to show the data and depth of research behind major social and economic issues. Depth and topography that is often missed in the sound-bite or in the declining rallentando of Twitter discourse and detail. Call for submissions: We will research and write articles at your suggestion, or you can visit our contact the editor page with your own submissions or suggestions. Let’s have a conversation? (We do not accept anonymous contributions – also please note that all comments are moderated before publication). “If your heart is in the right place and you have good taste, not only will you pass muster in politics, you are destined for it. If you are modest and do not lust after power, not only are you suited to politics, you absolutely belong there.” Václav Havel – 5 October 1936 – 18 December 2011. Wikipedia tells you more…