Published on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 by On the Commons
Occupy Economics Departments
Conventional economists have a lot to answer for but will they listen?
by David Morris

On November 2nd nearly 70 students walked out of an introductory economics class at Harvard in solidarity with the Occupy movement. The mainstream media largely ignored the protest. That’s regrettable since the economics profession has provided the intellectual framework and justification for the inequality and centralization of corporate power the Occupiers are challenging.

“You can’t get into so disastrous a situation as we are in now without extraordinarily bad thinking and the economics departments were the source of that bad thinking,” observes Steven Keen, Professor of Economics at the University of Western Sydney and author of Debunking Economics.

The Harvard students were protesting EC 10. The course is taught by Professor N. Gregory Mankiw, author of the world’s best selling economics textbook, Principles of Economics, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush and regular New York Times columnist. A prerequisite for social studies and economics majors, the class may be taken by nearly half of all Harvard students before they graduate.

Read more.



One Comment to “Occupy the Economics Department (everywhere)!”

  • Writing off/down debts as Keen suggests, but then keeping Money as DEBT from bank loans, starts the same cycle again.

    ……….

    Money is either DEBT for private profit or Money is Money for public profit.

    ………….

    Support Dennis Kucinich’s The NEED Act, HR 2990:

    http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/HR-2990.pdf

    ………..

    FAQS

    http://www.monetary.org/intro-to-monetary-reform/faqs

    snip

    15) What about other countries, and international systems such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the BIS (Bank for International Settlements)?

    We’d expect other countries to follow quickly in our footsteps to each obtain the advantages of issuing their own national monies. The United Nations is already putting forward suggestions that member states shift now to nationally created, debt free; interest free moneys. They are way ahead of the US Congress just now. A much reformed IMF, already organized under United Nations Article 57; #3, will see a greatly expanded role for the SDR and more responsibility for international accounts clearing as well as real assistance to member states, rather than acting as a destructive collection agent for the big banks. The role and importance of the BIS should be rapidly reduced, and perhaps eliminated. Just look at the mess created under their guidance and rules. Some job they did!

    (and out of order from same post)

    3) Why should we give the government even more power?

    Because our money system belongs to society as a whole. It is too important to trust to unrepresentative and unaccountable private hands, preoccupied with private gain, with little regard for the detrimental consequences of their actions on the country, and outside our system of checks and balances. Just look what they have done!

    snip

    7) Doesn’t your AMA proposal merely continue with a fiat money system?

    Shouldn’t we be using gold and silver instead? Wouldn’t that provide a more stable money?

    Our system is absolutely a fiat money system. But that’s a good thing, not a bad one. In reaction to the many problems caused by our privatized fiat money system over the decades, many Americans have blamed fiat money for our troubles, and they support using valuable commodities for money.

    But Folks! The problem is not fiat money, because all advanced money is a fiat of the Law! The problem is privately issued fiat money. Then that is like a private tax on all of us imposed by those with the privilege to privately issue fiat money. Private fiat money must now stop forever!

    Aristotle gave us the science of money in the 4th century B.C. which he summarized as: “Money exists not by nature but by law!” So Aristotle accurately defines money as a legal fiat.

    As for gold, most systems pretending to be gold systems have been frauds which never had the gold to back up their promises. And remember if you are still in a stage of trading things (such as gold) for other things, you are still operating in some form of barter system, not a real money system, and therefore not having the potential advantages as are available through the American Monetary Act!

    And finally as regards gold and silver: Please do not confuse a good investment with a good money system. From time to time gold and silver are good investments. However you want very different results from an investment than you want from a money. Obviously you want an investment to go up and keep going up. But you want money to remain fairly stable. Rising money would mean that you’d end up paying your debts in much more valuable money. For example the mortgage on your house would keep rising if the value of money kept rising.

    Also, contrary to prevailing prejudice, gold and silver have both been very volatile and not stable at all. Just check out the long term gold chart.

    ………..

    http://monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/32-page-brochure.pdf

    Email this Webpage to all of your Contacts and Print the Following:

    (1) A half page Flyer announcing the HR 2990
    which should be handed to everyone at a demonstration.

    (2) A full page flyer describing HR 2990,
    a hard-hitting piece that should be handed to the same people at a demonstration.

    (3) The Need for Monetary Reform,
    a one page (double-sided) sheet for those who want to know more. It’s exactly 800 words and you can reprint it easily, even get it into newspapers.

    (4) A fact sheet on HR 2990
    describing what the bill does to stabilize America’s financial situation, including the creation of 7 million of jobs.

    (5) Our 32 page booklet,
    which includes some history, our answers to the 20 most frequently asked questions, the American Monetary Act, and much more. Copy and photocopy the one attached, or get preprinted ones from us at 10 copies for $30.

    (6) HR 2990

    Follow The Dick Distelhorst Plan to Advocate for Monetary Reform!

    Dear Friends of the American Monetary Institute,

    We now face a major opportunity its important to respond to. Across the country thousands of Americans, young and old, are demonstrating around the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago, and Boston; Wall Street in NY and ever more places, linked to below.
    snip

    What do the Occupiers want? Mainly Economic Justice!

    To get economic justice, you must have monetary justice and the AMI has been working at gaining monetary justice since 1996. We have made progress. Our research results, The Lost Science of Money by Stephen Zarlenga demonstrate that decades of research and centuries of experience shows that three things are absolutely needed:

    The present form of the Federal Reserve System must be ended – it must become a part of our government – what people mistakenly think it is now! In the Treasury Department is best.

    The accounting privilege that banks now have to create what we use for money out of debt, must stop once and for all. What’s called fractional reserve banking must be decisively ended.

    The Congress must understand and be empowered to create new money and spend it into circulation as money, not debt. For example the $2.2 trillion dollars the Engineers tell us is needed for infrastructure over the next 5 years. As the system progresses, health care and education, and grants to the states are made.

    ………….

    http://www.monetary.org/how-the-economists-facilitated-the-crisis-and-how-hr-6550-solves-it/2011/06

    (now HR 2990)

    The crisis gives a rare opportunity for reform. There’s no denying that the present “Economics” regime has been a key cause of the pain, suffering, illness and even death inflicted on America’s less affluent; and of the worldwide economic destruction we see. My observations are admittedly from an outsider and there should be a value for you from that perspective, but this was well expressed by Economist Jamie Galbraith in testimony to the Senate Crime subcommittee on May 4th, 2010:

    “I write to you from a disgraced profession. Economic theory, as widely taught since the 1980s, failed miserably to understand the forces behind the financial crisis.”

    With rare exceptions, those in control of the World’s monetary/economic agenda and the theories supporting it have helped bring the world to its knees. Shouldn’t they (and their theories) be held accountable? The challenge will be for “youngsters” like yourselves, to bring your chosen profession to its senses.

    more

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