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Forum Post: 170 Economists sign statement of support for Occupy

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 24, 2011, 2:34 p.m. EST by TheTrollSlayer (347) from Kingsport, TN
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I cant believe all the stupid opposition to this movement. Comments like, they have no agenda, dirty hippies, freeloaders etc only show gross ignorance unless your trying to BS your opposing such, which to me seems like fox news stupid. Well trolls eat this http://thinkprogress.org/special/2011/11/21/373878/170-economists-sign-statement-in-support-of-occupy-wall-street/



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[-] 3 points by ZenDog (20544) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

Don't mind the nay sayers - many of them have a direct investment in the social instability they have made.

They will most certainly reap as they have sown.


Thanks for the link

[-] 3 points by Dugese (16) 2 years ago

This doesn't surprise me at all. Most economists understand both micro and macro economics. Most non-economists (most people) naturally have an understanding of microeconomics only, and do not understand macroeconomics unless it is taught to them in school. Since most people (most voters) only understand microeconomics there are political parties (conservatives) all over the world that yoke the limited understanding of the voter base politically. Economists can only watch and cringe, since most of them are employed by government institutions, and ultimately held to the will of the people, they cannot say too much.

Key differences between microeconomics and macroeconomics:

Saving Money. Always good? Conservatives say yes, always. Economists say yes, but only if you want the entire economy to stop and for us all to go back to living in caves. A person should save, a society should reward spending.

Gov Spending. Always bad? Conservatives say yes, always (except military- US conservatives make this exception). Economists say yes, but only if you want no military, education, roads, police, and numerous other services.

Taxes. Always bad? Conservatives say yes, always. Economists say yes, but only if you do not want any of the gov services listed above, because these gov services are services that people will not voluntarily choose to pay for as individuals, and can only be afforded collectively, so we cannot have them without taxes.

Fed Liquidity, always bad? Conservatives say yes, always. Economists say yes, but only if you want deflation and a Great Depression. Liquidity must be created at the proper amount to maintain productivity (employment) while avoiding stagnation (over-employment on the one side and fixed income without risk on the other). It is important to note here that the Republicans currently running for President nearly uniformly are preaching how they will ensure that retirees can live on fixed income. The truth is that if anyone can live on fixed income without risk and without depending upon social security then inflation is too low, and the economy is stagnant. Also, economists will tell you that inflation is appropriate to achieve productivity. Economists generally define the most productive level of unemployment to be 5%, therefor liquidity should be added until 5% unemployment is achieved, then liquidity should be cut back. Conservatives want liquidity to be cut back even though unemployment is over 9%, and the conservative voter base is buying it.

This is the result of an unbalanced understanding of micro vs macro economics in a democracy.

Liberals are not off the hook either, though Liberals have an entirely different set of misunderstandings that just typically do not come from an over-application of micro-economic principles the way conservatives do.

Personally, I don't feel that there is a single political party that I can join in this country.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

When you say "economists" you need distinguish between the Milton Freidman Chicago boys, and the Keynesian, not of the "free market religion", economists.

[-] 2 points by Dugese (16) 2 years ago

Am just talking about the differences between basic micro and macro economics, not about stable vs transitional economic goals. One step at a time. Though personally, since I am an engineer, I tend toward Keynesian economics since the model reminds me of a lot of the more transient systems dynamics that are typical in reality.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

Good call, (On your recognition of the value of Keynes.) The problem is, much of what has been taught in the top universities for decades now, has been some version of free market, laissez Faire. One of the more influential has been Gregory Mankiw, who, while paying lip service to Keynes, has completely perverted his ideas. One point in particular, is his attempt to sell the idea of "the benefits of outsourcing". Keynes specifically warned of the dangers of massive trade deficits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._Gregory_Mankiw

[-] 2 points by Dugese (16) 2 years ago

History is littered with examples of the dangers of massive trade deficits. The most striking in my opinion is the failure of Spain and success of England during Spain's gold years. Spain spent all of it's New World gold over about 200 years importing goods from England, and in the end England had a productive economy and all of the gold, while Spain had nothing.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

("History is littered...") Indeed it is. But yet the Neoliberals continue to tell us how great "free trade" is, in spite of decades of clear evidence to the contrary.

[-] 1 points by Dugese (16) 2 years ago

Free and fair trade, that is trade without excessive deficits, is certainly a good thing. However, even some credible economists have argued that free trade with deficits is still a good thing, though I think history has and will disagree with that, especially if the trade is not fair such as when production is subsidized. Some of the arguments are correct, such as the varying tax rates within different countries not affecting the competitiveness of trade between them, however I believe that we really need to pursue equal trade balances as a rule, especially when there are production subsidies, lax enforcement of IP protection, and/or currency manipulation, to name some examples of recent behavior in global markets. I believe that lack of real progress in controlling unfair practices in other countries will inevitably necessitate unequal trade balance penalties, though I wonder how much of a disadvantage we will be at when it finally does. It is not easy to resist laziness, require your country to be productive, and not fall into the same trap as Spain did during their gold years.


[-] 3 points by looselyhuman (3117) 2 years ago

That's pretty awesome, and some powerful names, like Galbraith and Baker. There are others who didn't make the signatory list for whatever reason, that I know are with us as well, like Stiglitz, Krugman, and Reich...

[-] 2 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Isn't Galbraith dead? Or different Galbraith?

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 2 years ago

His son, James K.

[-] 2 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Ah. Didn't know he had a son carrying the torch, that's great. His dad was a really decent guy, I met him once.

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 2 years ago

Yep, he's definitely his father's son. Recommend his book, The Predator State: http://www.amazon.com/Predator-State-Conservatives-Abandoned-Liberals/dp/141656683X

[-] 3 points by Edgewaters (912) 2 years ago

Cheers! I'll check it out. They seem to have this one at the library. Must be good, it's not only out but reserved as well.

[-] 2 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

Just put it on ILL. Just finished The Retirement Heist: http://www.amazon.com/Retirement-Heist-Companies-Plunder-American/dp/1591843332/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322175289&sr=1-1

Although I knew some of the plundering of private sector pensions by CEO's & cronies, she had quite a bit of information that was new to me. Accounting can be a vicious game in greedy hands.

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 2 years ago

Wow, that looks looks like a must-read; will add it to my list.

[-] 2 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 2 years ago

Retirement security is a particular interest of mine.

If you've never read Pay Without Performance, it is well worth a look as well. It's a few years old but the research by the authors continues to be excellent, and I've followed that. The plundering takes many forms!


[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

It's good to hear something besides the free market bullcrap. It's about time people realized that it isn't universally accepted.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20544) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

this is so cool

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 2 years ago

The problem is that "agenda" basically includes addressing policies and laws. That is not being done. Goals with no method for achievement that has legal standing is in position.

An Article 5 convention is the only way to gain the authority to make the needed changes.

Lessig power point on article V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk

Lots of facts here about Article V. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

Article V conference, Lawrence Lessig at harvard 9/25/11-other attendee video comments http://vimeo.com/31464745