The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

G-20 Economics


Devine is an honorary research fellow in social science at the University of Manchester. His books include Democracy and Economic Planning: The Political Economy of a Self-Governing Society, An Introduction to Industrial Economics and the just-published Feel Bad Britain: How to Make It Better.
He is able to assess the G-20 meeting, global economic policy
generally, and the impact on society and ecology as a whole. For
example, he states: "U.S. and Britain's high level of economic
inequality is causing -- in spite of general material well-being --
increasing unhappiness."

is a distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of
the City University of New York. He is the author of several books,
including "The Limits to Capital" and "A Brief History of Neoliberalism." He appeared on Democracy Now this morning.
More Information

Hahnel is professor emeritus of economics at American University and
currently visiting at Portland State University. Hahnel's most recent
books are Panic Rules!: Everything You Need to Know About the Global Economy, The ABCs of Political Economy: A Modern Approach, and Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation.
He just wrote the piece "Change How the World Works? Yes, We Can"
in the Times of London. The piece outlines concrete proposals of those
protesting the economic policies of the richest governments at the G-20
meeting in London. Hahnel writes: "Finance should serve the real
economy instead of the other way around. If the financial sector
improves the efficiency of the real economy, it is helpful. But if it
misdirects investment resources to where they are less productive, it
reduces production in the real economy by obstructing the flow of
credit altogether. ...
"We have offered several positive alternatives to capital
liberalization and to the governing structures and policies of the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, such as capital
controls and a Tobin tax to protect smaller economies from volatile
speculative flows. ...
"Unlike neo-liberals, who inexplicably are still in charge of managing
the response to the financial crisis that their policies created, we do
not persist in the utopian illusion that toxic assets are really not
toxic after all. The problem is that the industry was permitted to dig
itself into a hole so deep that many financial institutions are now
dead on arrival -- and nobody knows how many enormous transfers of
wealth from taxpayers to their balance sheets would be required to make
them solvent again.
"We want trickle-up economics, not trickle-down economics. We want a
dramatic redistribution of income and wealth that reverses the trend of
the past 30 years because it is fair, and also because it makes
capitalism less prone to crisis by providing a reliable source of
demand for businesses satisfying the needs of ordinary people.
"We want a welfare system that is adequately funded and treats clients
with dignity and respect. We want high quality education and healthcare
for all, independent of one's financial means. And we want all this
paid for by progressive taxes on income and wealth. We know that this
is perfectly possible and can be achieved through well-tried policies.
Only poor priorities that stem from the power of wealthy elites to
impose their will stand in the way of achieving it."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.