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Articles by tom

Flirting with Armageddon: the US and Ukraine

6 days ago

It is now almost six months since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and with each passing month the Biden administration has ratcheted up US participation in the conflict. That ratchet process has the US flirting ever closer with nuclear Armageddon, a momentous development that has gone almost uncommented and uncontested. It is as …

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The truth will out: the US, Russia, and Ukraine

May 18, 2022

Watch this (30 seconds long): The truth will out: George Bush speaking about Russia and Ukraine The truth is out about Iraq, and it will eventually out about Ukraine. The worst thing about this video is the fawning complicit response of the audience which speaks volumes about elite US society. Please share. P.S. Another 30 …

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Neoliberalism and the Road to Inequality and Stagnation: A Chronicle Foretold

April 29, 2022

My latest book has recently been published by Edward Elgar. The book explores the impact of neoliberal policies on the US, Europe, and the global economy. It shows how the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession were predictable outcomes of the neoliberal policy experiment, as is the emergence of global “race to the bottom” competition. …

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More on the critique of New Developmentalism

April 11, 2022

Oreiro and de Paula’s (2022) reply to my article (Palley, 2021) further convinces me that New Developmentalism (ND) substantially misconstrues the development challenge and ND’s policy recommendations lean in a Neoliberal direction. The critique of ND is not its emphasis of the importance of manufacturing. It is the regressive inclination, the narrowness of policy recommendations, …

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The Bucha atrocities and the tilted character of reporting on Ukraine

April 7, 2022

Below is an on-line comment I submitted re The New York Times’ op-ed (Aril 7, 2022) on the Bucha atrocities. The comment speaks to the tilted character of reporting on the Ukraine war. That tilt should be of concern to all who care about freedom, democracy, and open society.   “Who committed the Bucha atrocities …

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Ukraine: what will be done and what should be done?

February 24, 2022

The inevitable has happened. Russia has invaded Ukraine. It was inevitable because the US and its NATO partners had backed Russia into a corner from which it could only escape by military means. In effect, Russia confronted a future in which the US would increasingly tighten the noose around its neck by further eastward expansion …

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American Exceptionalism and the Liberal Menace: the US and Ukraine

February 13, 2022

American exceptionalism is the most dangerous doctrine in the world, and it has been on full display in the current Ukraine crisis. Worse yet, the loudest advocates have been America’s elite liberal class. The doctrine of exceptionalism holds that the US is inherently different from and superior to other nations. That superiority means the US …

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Theorizing varieties of capitalism: economics and the fallacy that “There is no alternative (TINA)”

February 2, 2022

The VoCs approach to capitalism has the potential to transform economics. It tacitly emphasizes the plasticity of economies, whereby their character and outcomes are significantly a matter of choice. This paper augments VoCs theory to include a distinction between varieties and varietals of capitalism. Drawing on biology, varieties correspond to species and varietals correspond to …

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A crisis made in the USA: why Russia will likely invade Ukraine

January 16, 2022

Preamble. Living in the US and writing honestly about US-Russia relations (and China too) is very difficult. That is because the US is the aggressor, but Russia is an authoritarian country. That split is used by the US establishment to shuffle discussion away from US aggression on to Russian authoritarianism. Side-by-side, anyone calling the US …

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Federal Reserve Insider Dealing? R.I.P. Central Bank Independence

January 11, 2022

Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Richard Clarida has shot himself in the foot with what appears to be insider trading. That comes on the heels of prior concerns about inappropriate trading by regional Federal Reserve Bank Presidents Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren. Albeit unintentionally, the good news is these indiscretions may have done working families a favor …

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Economics & other crazy stuff: Happy New Year

December 29, 2021

I’m hoping next year we will make progress getting some of the crazier stuff out of the room. Here’s a little YouTube teaser from Down Under (give it a minute to get to the punchline): Who’s crazy now? All the best in 2022, Tom

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The US and Russia: beware of Neocons and liberals preaching democracy promotion

December 8, 2021

Every week my e-mail box receives a steady stream of articles aimed at cultivating public animus to Russia. The articles are always wrapped in a narrative in which Russia is a threat to democracy in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. The effect is to create public support for hardline action (economic and/or military) against Russia. …

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Anti-China Fever in the US: a lethal contagious disease

September 20, 2021

Much of the United States (especially Washington, DC) is in the grip of a contagious lethal anti-China fever which is spreading fast. Even people I usually admire and respect have become infected. Reason and facts have lost all capacity to inoculate. Fortunately, I was sent a vaccine (that takes one minute to administer) which I …

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Financialization revisited: the economics and political economy of the vampire squid economy

September 1, 2021

This paper explores the economics and political economy of financialization using Matt Taibbi’s vampire squid metaphor to characterize it. The paper makes five innovations. First, it focuses on the mechanics of the “vampire squid” process whereby financialization rotates through the economy loading sector balance sheets with debt. Second, it identifies the critical role of government …

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Preparations for the “Next Afghanistan” have already begun

August 19, 2021

Now that the twenty year-long US military expedition to Afghanistan has ended in catastrophe, the US Neocon establishment has already begun preparations for the “Next Afghanistan”. That process begins with blaming Joe Biden and rewriting history. Thus, Richard Haas (President of the Council on Foreign Relations) writes in Project Syndicate: “Biden was recently asked if …

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Financialization revisited: the economics and political economy of the vampire squid economy

August 12, 2021

This paper explores the economics and political economy of financialization using Matt Taibbi’s vampire squid metaphor to characterize it. The paper makes five innovations. First, it focuses on the mechanics of the “vampire squid” process whereby financialization rotates through the economy loading sector balance sheets with debt. Second, it identifies the critical role of government …

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Life among the Econ: fifty years on

April 20, 2021

Almost fifty years ago, the Swedish econographer Axel Leijonhufvud (1973) wrote a seminal study on the Econ tribe titled “Life among the Econ”. This study revisits the Econ and reports on their current state. Life has gotten more complicated since those bygone days. The cult of math modl-ing has spread far and wide, so that …

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Sliding Doors: The Day US Democracy Almost Died

January 10, 2021

Sunday January 10, 2021. It is now four days since the January 6 mob attack on the US Congress which President Donald Trump incited. In a manner akin to a combat situation, the numbness induced by the overwhelming nature of the event is giving way to shock and anger. What is also becoming clear is …

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National Policy Space: Reframing the Political Economy of Globalization and its Implications for National Sovereignty and Democracy

January 8, 2021

This paper critiques the trilemma framing of the political economy of globalization, and offers an alternative framing rooted in the construct of national policy space. Globalization causes changes in policy space which have drop-down implications for national sovereignty and democratic politics. Globalization involves choices regarding the “degree”, “type”, and “dimensions” of international economic integration. Contrary …

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Diego Maradona (1960-2020): Some Bittersweet Reflections

November 27, 2020

Maradona was more than just an extraordinary footballer. He was also a complicated social icon. That further distinguishes him from other footballers, though Pele also has some of that… and it is great to see young footballers like Marcus Rashford taking up that mantle. He was both rewarded by and terribly exploited by the system. …

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What’s wrong with modern money theory (MMT): macro and political economic restraints on deficit financed fiscal policy

October 21, 2020

The essential claim of MMT is sovereign currency issuing governments, with flexible exchange rates and without foreign currency debt, are financially unconstrained. This paper analyzes the macroeconomic arguments behind that claim and shows they are suspect. MMT underestimates the economic costs and exaggerate the capabilities of deficit financed fiscal policy. Those analytic shortcomings render it …

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