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“Between Ideals and Institutions”

August 2, 2015 1 comment

New book from WEA eBooks

Between Ideals and Institutions, by Armando Ochangcowea-ebookcover-ochangco-225x300 - 2

Available to download in PDF, EPUB (iPad) and MOBI (Kindle) formats.

The work is very interesting and enlightening and could be used in various courses such as  public economics, political economy, development economics, and the theory of institutions.
Willi Semmler, New School for Social Research

This book assesses political economy by considering various ideals, including collective decisions and democracy, freedom, justice, and development.  Beginning with the idea that social evaluation using the familiar metric of GDP is extremely limited, this book draws inspiration and incorporates basic insights from the writings of Amartya K. Sen.  Within its reconstructive methodology, this book brings in ideas from various major thinkers, including the contemporary philosophers Rawls and Habermas, and the classical thinkers Aristotle, Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, and Marx.

This work will be of interest to students and scholars in social and political philosophy, economic philosophy, the philosophy of law, the philosophy of development, the normative theory of institutions, and political economy.

Capitalism, green or otherwise, is ”Ecological Suicide”

July 22, 2015 2 comments

Green Capitalism: The God that Failed is essential reading for
anyone opposed to planetary suicide.”

from Truthout and David Klein

Green Capitalism: The God that Failed, by Richard Smith,
World Economics Association eBooks

The climate crisis is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. At the current rate of global greenhouse gas Industrial pollutionemissions, warming of the planet will shoot past two degrees Celsius by mid-century and reach 4°C to 6°C beyond pre-industrial averages by 2100. The magnitude of the impending catastrophe was eloquently described by Hans Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, when he said, “the difference between two and four degrees is human civilization …” Adding to that, the biosphere faces massive pollution, resource depletion, species extinctions, ocean acidification, among other looming dangers.

But can we save ourselves? In his new book, Green Capitalism: The God that Failed, Richard Smith argues compellingly that “sustainable production is certainly possible but not under capitalism” and even more forcefully, “capitalism and saving the planet are fundamentally and irreconcilably at odds.” To this central question, Smith brings an impressive command of economics and an engaging conversational style of writing. He explains and illustrates with devastating clarity the key mechanisms of capitalism that force it to grow unendingly, and these explanations are supported with a broad array of examples of corporate and national economic practices from around the world.  read more

Between Ideals and Institutions – Armando Ochangco

July 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Between Ideals and Institutions

Armando Ochangco

Published 20 July 2015 by WEA Books

This book critiques economics in the context of ideals such as collective decisions and democracy, freedom, justice, and development. Taking off from the idea that social evaluation using the familiar metric of GDP is extremely limited and drawing inspiration and certain basic insights from the writings of Amartya K. Sen, the work also brings in, within a reconstructive methodology, ideas from various thinkers including those coming from major contemporary philosophers such as Rawls and Habermas, as well as classical thinkers such as Aristotle, Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, and Marx. Within the general reconstructive intention, the author raises questions, old and new, pursues and develops both familiar and original insights, and suggests various linkages and inter-connections, as well as integrative perspectives towards developing conceptions of certain basic social ideals that would be relevant to such a broader and more complex kind of evaluation of various social institutions. Institutional and policy realization and feasibility issues are also considered at length—especially in connection with less developed society contexts—as these relate to the major social ideals being suggested.

Read more…

“Finance as Warfare”, Michael Hudson’s new book

July 2, 2015 5 comments

Finance as Warfare
by Michael Hudson
Published by WEA eBooks 1 July 2015

To simple people it is indubitable that the nearest cause of the enslavement of one class of men by another is money. They know that it is possible to cause more trouble with a rouble than with a club; it is only political economy that does not want to know it.
— Leo Tolstoy, What Shall We Do Then? (1886)

The financial sector has the same objective as military conquest: to gain control of land and basic infrastructure, Cover of Finance as Warfareand collect tribute. To update von Clausewitz, finance has become war by other means. It is not necessary to conquer a country or even to own its land, natural resources and infrastructure, if its economic surplus can be taken financially. What formerly took blood and arms is now obtained by debt leverage.

The creditor’s objective is to obtain wealth by indebting populations and even governments, and forcing them to pay by relinquishing their property or its income. Direct ownership is not necessary. Fully as powerful as military force, debt pressure saves the cost of having to mount an invasion and suffer casualties. Who needs an expensive occupation against unwilling hosts when you can obtain assets willingly by financial means – as long as debt-strapped nations permit bankers and bondholders to dictate their laws and control their planning and politics?

Such financial conquest is less overtly brutal than warfare waged with guns and missiles, but its demographic effect is as lethal. For debt-strapped Greece and Latvia, creditor-imposed austerity has caused falling marriage rates, family formation and birth rates, shortening life spans, and rising suicide rates and emigration.  Read more

 

 

Introduction to “The Scientist and the Church”

May 28, 2015 2 comments

from Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan

This chapter is the introduction to our new book, The Scientist and the Church  (World Economic Association, 2015).

The Scientist and the Church

Introduction 

Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan[*]

Human society, one may argue, is propelled by a dynamic clash of two primordial drives: creativity and power. The urge to invent confronts the impulse to conserve, the desire to change contests the quest to impose, the will to transcend conflicts with the impetus to restrict, harness and sabotage. It seems that the ever-present need to create something new always stands against the itch to redistribute and appropriate.  Read more…

“The Scientist and the Church “

May 21, 2015 1 comment

 

Cover of The Scientist and the ChurchThe Scientist and the Church
Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan

Published 21 June 2015 by WEA Books $10
337 pages

The Scientist and the Church is a wide-ranging biography of research, showcasing Bichler and Nitzan’s attempts to break through the stifling dogmas of the academic church and chart a new scientific cosmology of capitalism. Central to the authors’ work is the notion that capital is not a productive economic category but capitalized power, and that capitalism should be conceived and researched not as a mode of production and consumption but as a mode of power.

The articles collected in this volume outline the general contours of their approach, flesh out some of their recent research and offer personal insights into the broader politics of their journey. The first chapters reexamine the common foundations of the neoclassical and Marxist doctrines, sketch the contours of the authors’ alternative cosmology of capitalized power, identify the asymptotes – or limits – of this power and explore the all-encompassing logic of modern finance. Subsequent chapters research the connection between redistribution and cyclical crises, reassess the Marxist nexus between imperialism and financialism, rethink the oft-misunderstood role of crime and punishment in the capitalist mode of power and articulate a new theory and history of Middle-East energy conflicts. The closing chapters include two big-picture interviews, as well as riveting reflections on the authors’ own scientific clashes with the church.

The Economy of the Hamster

May 11, 2015 1 comment

The Economy of the Hamster  Cover of The Economy of the Hamster
Mauro Gallegati

Published 11 May 2015 by WEA Books $10

“After the financial crisis and the economic collapse of the Eurozone, many are asking “Quo Vadis”?: humanity, where are you going? Mauro Gallegati asks this from both a complex systems and a quintessentially Italian perspective, challenging our obsession with growth, the inappropriate worship of GDP, and the failed experiment of the Euro, and asking what could be the sustainable economy of the future”.  Steve Keen

About the book 

Read more…

Sleepwalking to extinction

May 7, 2015 15 comments

When, on May 10th 2013 scientists at Mauna Loa Observatory on the big island of Hawaii announced that global CO2 emissions had crossed a threshold at 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in millions of years, a sense of dread spread around the world and not only among climate scientists. CO2 emissions have been relentlessly climbing since Charles David Keeling first set up his tracking station near the summit of Mauna Loa Observatory in 1958 to monitor average daily global CO2 levels. At that time, CO2 concentrations registered 315ppm. CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations have been relentlessly climbing ever since and, as the records show, temperatures rises will follow. For all the climate summits, the promises of “voluntary restraint,” the carbon trading and carbon taxes, the growth of CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations has not just been relentless, it has been accelerating in what scientists have dubbed the “Keeling Curve.” Read more…

C. T. Kurien’s book Wealth and Illfare is now available in EPUB (for iPad) and MOBI (for Kindle) formats as well as PDF. ($10)

May 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Cover of Wealth and Illfare: An Expedition through Real Life Economics

Wealth and Illfare: An Expedition through Real Life Economics
C. T. Kurien

WEALTH and ILLFARE is intended for readers who do not have much knowledge in economics, but are eager to know how economic systems function.

In particular, it deals with the phenomenon that many find disturbing, the soaring affluence of the few and the continuing misery of the many that is increasingly becoming evident globally and in our country.

Ownership and control over resources, different forms of mediation and asymmetry of information are identified as clues for any interested reader to develop skills to study real life economic problems.

It is a unique and timely contribution by a reputed practitioner who, over the past half a century, has influenced generations of students and through his earlier writings the general public as well.

Seeking short reviews of the following books

April 29, 2015 Comments off

The Real-World Economics Review and the RWER Blog are interested in publishing short reviews (1,000 words) of the following books.  Send submissions to pae_news@btinternet.com

New and forthcoming eBooks from WEA Books

April 20, 2015 3 comments

“On the use and misuse of theories and models in economics”

April 14, 2015 2 comments

On the use and misuse of theories and models in economics

Lars Pålsson Syll

Published 14 April 2015 by WEA Books

 

A wonderful set of clearly written and highly informative essays by a scholar who is knowledgeable, critical and sharp enough to see how things really are in the discipline, and honest and brave enough to say how things are. A must read especially for those truly concerned and/or puzzled about the state of modern economics.

Tony Lawson

Herman Daly: “Essays Against Growthism”

March 25, 2015 3 comments

Essays Against Growthism

Herman Daly

Published 25 March 2015 by WEA Books, $10.00
This book is available to download in PDF, EPUB (for iPad etc.) and MOBI (for Kindle etc.)

Contents

  1. The Economy as Subsystem of the Ecosphere
  2. An Economics Fit for Purpose in a Finite World
  3. Integrating Ecology and Economics
  4. Dualist Economics
  5. Three Limits to Growth
  6. Depletion of Moral Capital as a Limit to Growth
  7. A Population Perspective on the Steady-State Economy
  8. The Guardian and Monbiot versus Forbes and Worstall
  9. Use and Abuse of the “Natural Capital” Concept
  10. Cold War Left-Overs
  11. Krugman’s Growthism
  12. Full Employment versus Jobless Growth
  13. The Negative Natural Interest Rate and Uneconomic Growth
  14. Top 10 Policies for a Steady-State Economy

Read more…

Green Capitalism: The God that Failed

March 19, 2015 5 comments

Green Capitalism: The God that Failed

Richard Smith

Published 18 Mar 2015 by WEA Books, $10.00 This book is available to download in PDF, EPUB (for iPad etc.) and MOBI (for Kindle etc.)

This book deals with the prime threat to human life on earth: the tendency of global capitalist economic development to develop us to death, to drive us off the cliff to ecological collapse. It begins with a review of the origins of this economic dynamic in the transition to capitalism in England and Europe and with an analysis of the ecological implications of capitalist economics as revealed in the work of its founding theorist Adam Smith. I argue that, once installed, the requirements of reproduction under capitalism – the pressure of competition, the imperative need to innovate and develop the forces of production to beat the competition, the need to constantly grow production and expand the market and so on, induced an expansive logic that has driven economic development, and now overdevelopment, down to our day.

Read more…

Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics

March 15, 2015 2 comments

Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics

Eric Zuesse

Published 9 Mar 2015 by WEA Books, 288 pages, $10.00
This book is available to download in PDF, EPUB (for iPad etc.) and MOBI (for Kindle etc.)

Eric Zuesse has written a provocative and challenging volume, though in my opinion he sometimes goes too far in his criticisms and claims. This book proposes two new postulates to replace existing ones that are at the foundation of microeconomic theory. It cites the existing body of empirical findings in economics as being the reasons for them, and it presents a strong empirical case for each of its two new postulates as being true and the one that it is replacing as being false. I regard his book as the work of a serious, committed scholar whose views deserve to be taken seriously.
Geoffrey Harcourt

Read more…

Wealth and Illfare

March 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Wealth and Illfare: An Expedition through Real Life Economics 

C. T. Kurien

Published 27 Feb 2015 by  WEA Books, 270 pages, $10.00

WEALTH and ILLFARE is intended for readers who do not have much knowledge in economics, but are eager to know how economic systems function.

In particular, it deals with the phenomenon that many find disturbing, the soaring affluence of the few and the continuing misery of the many that is increasingly becoming evident globally and in our country.

Ownership and control over resources, different forms of mediation and asymmetry of information are identified as clues for any interested reader to develop skills to study real life economic problems.

It is a unique and timely contribution by a reputed practitioner who, over the past half a century, has influenced generations of students and through his earlier writings the general public as well.

Read more…

Statistical Foundations

March 11, 2015 2 comments

Statistical Foundations for Econometric Techniques

Asad Zaman

Published 27 Feb 2015 by WEA Books, 427 pages, $10.00

“Statistical Foundations for Econometric Techniques” features previously unavailable material in a textbook format for econometrics students, researchers and practitioners. Taking strong positions for and against standard econometric techniques, the book endorses a single best technique whenever possible. In many cases, the recommended optimal technique differs substantially from current practice. Detailed discussions present many new estimation strategies superior to conventional OLS, and ways to use them. It evaluates econometric techniques and the procedures commonly used to analyse those techniques. It challenges established concepts and introduces many techniques that are not available in other texts. It recommends against using the Durbin-Watson and Lagrange Multiplier tests in favour of tests with superior power. This title forms a judicious mixture of various methodological approaches, and it illustrates Empirical Bayes estimators and robust regression techniques possessing a 50 per cent breakdown value.

Endorsements 

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Appreciating Mental Capital

March 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Cover of Appreciating Mental Capital: What and Who Economists Should Also Study

Appreciating Mental Capital: What and Who Economists Should Also Study

Robert Locke

Published 1 Feb 2015 by WEA Books

In Appreciating Mental Capital: What and Who Economists Should Also Study, Robert Locke sets straight the most famous case of historical falsification in economics – The neoclassical economists removal of the subject of mental capital from the lexicon of economic studies over which they had gained control by mid-20th century. He accomplishes this feat by returning to the origins of economic thought in the age of classical economics to rediscover, by broadening the analysis historically and geographically, especially to German economists, a thriving school of mental capital advocates persistently challenging the classical/neoclassical view of physical capital as the chief driver of technological expansion.

The neoclassical school’s takeover of economics, Locke asserts in Chapter I, has led to an incomplete and distorted discussion within economics of the subject. Students of economics, therefore, cannot rely on economists to examine the subject of mental capital, but need to study the actual formation of mental capital in our times.

Read more…

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