After Marx and Sraffa: Essays in Political Economy by Geoffrey M. Hodgson

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By Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Fresh occasions in jap Europe have underlined the restrictions of Marxian fiscal and political concept. during this number of essays Hodgson topics Marxian monetary thought to serious exam and exhibits which components continue their smooth relevance. After analysing the contribution of Sraffa, and indicating its severe power and theoretical barriers, Hodgson issues to a brand new synthesis embracing Marx, Keynes and Veblen.

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Generally, the less you had to do with the crisis, the bigger the sacrifices – relative to your income – you have had to make. Youth unemployment has soared – in Spain and Greece to over 50%; this is an outrageous waste of young lives, and in many countries it’s become clear that young people are unlikely to experience the prosperity their parents enjoyed. How ridiculous that the answer to our economic problems is seen as wasting more of our most important asset – people. Meanwhile a political class increasingly dominated by the rich continues to support their interests and diverts the public’s attention by stigmatising and punishing those on welfare benefits and low incomes, cheered on by media overwhelmingly controlled by the super-rich.

Too many books on economic justice, and especially on the economic crisis, take as given the very institutions and practices that need questioning. This book is about the injustices of some long-standing economic relations that have come to a head in the crisis. 27 By this I mean not moralising about greed but assessing the moral justifications of basic features of economic organisation. It’s about the huge differences between what some are able to get and what they do, need and deserve. What people should get is a difficult issue, particularly where it’s a matter of what we think people deserve or merit, but in the case of the rich, it can be shown that what they actually get has more to do with power.

This struggle over words has been largely won by the rich and powerful, so how we speak about economic life systematically conceals their activities. Mainstream economics has proved to be a helpful if largely unwitting accomplice to this process, fearful of anything that might be construed as critical of capitalism. To show why we can’t afford the rich we need to go into some basic economic matters, but in a different and yet simpler way than usual. Most basically, we need to remember something that has been forgotten in modern mainstream economics: economics is about provisioning.

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