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Home / Tag Archives: Economic History

Tag Archives: Economic History

GDP: origin, uses and abuses

Origins of National Income From the ultra pro-business World Economic Forum to the progressive “thinktank” New Economics Foundation, we find a growing consensus that the standard measure of economic performance, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), needs replacement.  Its failure to adequately measure welfare or well being appears as a common threat in the critique of GDP (treated in detail in the 2009 study from Boston University), a theme repeated in the media.  More broadly, some...

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The End of Super Imperialism?

T Sabri Öncü ([email protected]) is an economist based in İstanbul, Turkey. This article was first published in the Indian journal the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) on 28 September 2019.Summary: With intensifying concerns regarding the soundness and stability of the international monetary and financial system, calls for reforming it have been on the rise. One recent call was made by the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, in August 2019, in which he suggested a...

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Balance of Power: The Economic Consequences of the Peace at 100

My review of John Maynard Keynes’s The Economic Consequences of the Peace  Macmillan (2019) appeared in Nature – the International Journal of Science – on 23 September, 2019.“Ann Pettifor finds astonishing contemporary resonance in John Maynard Keynes’s critique of globalization and inequity.”The Economic Consequences of the Peace John Maynard Keynes Macmillan (2019)In December 1919, John Maynard Keynes published a blistering attack on the Treaty of Versailles, signed in...

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On the Economy — Historical U.S. Trade Balance and Industrialization

The U.S. has run a persistent trade deficit over the past few decades, similar to much of the 19th century. The shifts in the U.S. trade balance over time seem to correspond with U.S. industrialization in a global setting, according to a recent Economic Synopses essay.  “We hypothesize that industrialization leads to structural changes that cause a nation’s comparative advantages to change relative to those of other nations,” wrote Assistant Vice President and Economist Yi Wen and Research...

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Apocalypse economics and economic apocalypse — Richard Westra

What cutting edge economic anthropology and economic history shows is that prior to the dawn of the capitalist era it would have been nonsensical to refer to such a thing as an “economy” and no one ever did. The reason for this, quite simply, is that while economic reproduction is an existential facet of all existing human societies it had always been intermeshed with other social practices–culture, religion, ideology, politics, and so on–and indistinguishable from them. Only under...

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Electrification and Climate I: Scale of the Challenge

Many elements have to come together if Canada is to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. There is now a technical consensus that “electrification” – the replacement of fossil fuels with electricity as an energy source – is a necessary condition for decarbonization, and that electrification will require that zero/low-emission electricity generation double or triple by 2050. In this first of a series of electricity-oriented climate-related posts, I summarize the...

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Robert Paul Wolff — “The Future of Socialism” (article)

I  (Tom Hickey) recommend reading this paper now that "socialism" is the new buzz word. You may recall Professor Wolff from The Poverty of Liberalism, In Defense of Anarchy, and A Critique of Pure Tolerance (with Herbert Marcuse and Barrington Moore, Jr.), which were popular at the time of the "countercultural revolution" in the Sixties and Seventies. He also published scholarly works on Emmanuel Kant and Karl Marx. He blogs at The Philosopher's Stone, which I follow and occasionally offer...

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Peter Ireland — Modern Monetary Theory, Green New Deal Harken Us to Look Back at ’70s

Thoughtful reflection on historical precedent. These observations are particularly useful because they point to an intellectually rigorous way in which debates over the wisdom of the Green New Deal and the usefulness of MMT might be resolved: by examining more carefully the political and economic history of the 1970s. Was the high inflation of that decade a consequence of excessive money growth, engineered by the Fed to relieve budgetary pressures—the source of the “anguish” in Burns’...

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