2010-06-14

Poeten och ekonomen

The Distrest Poet

Hemma hos poeten och ekonomen, en konversation efter ytterligare krav på mer åtstramning från "marknaden".

"The poet and the economist"


“Who is calling for these measures?”, the Poet asked with a hint of disbelief. He had a vague notion that growth was good for employment.

“The bond markets”, she replied, in a dismissive way, as if everybody would know that.

“The bond markets … are they people?”, he said.

“Bond traders invest funds in public debt”, she noted, without looking up.

“You mean the characters who invest the funds that the workers have saved?”, he said.

“The same”, came the reply.

“And don’t they skim off huge profits, commissions and management fees in the process”, he said, recalling a story he had seen on TV.

“They demand a market return for their efforts”, she said.

“But when they fail they get government help, isn’t that is what just happened”, he said, “And then they demand the government sack workers who have saved the funds that the bond traders trade.”

“Yes, when the risk gets too high they stop buying”, she said not really getting where he was heading.

“But the bond traders make money using our wealth”, he said, sensing that he was finally getting to the nub of his quandary about all of this.

“The bond dealers are not the evil ones”, she said by rote, giving a sense that she didn’t even believe herself. “They are like the canaries in the mine.”

“But why does the government issue debt anyway?”, he said.

“Because they are like you and me, to buy things we cannot afford we have to borrow, and we have limits”, she said, rehearsing her memory of the her intermediate macroeconomics textbook.

“They are not like us, they are in charge of the money we use”, he concluded.

“But the government cuts will cause more workers to lose their jobs”, he said, trying to relate the issue back to his value of humanity, “and then they are calling to cut the protections that we give the unemployed”.

“It is necessary to realign the budget parameters”, she said.

“Will the bond traders lose their jobs and lose their protection”, he said, and added “I read that the bankers are now making record profits”.

“No-one likes anyone losing their jobs”, she replied, “but what do you mean by “their protection?”

“Well didn’t you say the bonds that the government issues give the bond traders a risk-free asset?”, he said, “that is protection”.

And, continuing, he said, “And the government provided plenty of spending to save the jobs of the bankers”.

She replied, showing signs of being a bit disoriented by the lateral thinking that wasn’t in the textbooks, “The government has to issue debt”.

“No they don’t, they issue the currency”, he said (having just read a MMT blog), “So the bond traders will continue making record profits, using the funds that the workers saved, but want the workers who saved the funds in the first place to be unemployed and their unemployment benefits cut”.

“The governments have run out of money”, she retorted, now thoroughly disoriented.

“No they haven’t, they control the money”, he said.

“They would just cause inflation”, she said.

“But the financial news said that we have problem of deflation. Isn’t that the opposite of inflation”, he said.

“The bond markets are just the canaries”, she said.

“Then they should be kept in cages”, he said, trying to be empathetic to the values his wife was displaying. Never for one moment would the poet want a free bird caged. He cared.

"Lånat" från Billy blog – "The poet and the economist"
Posten är betydligt längre och som vanligt med ett stort mått av förnuft och rationalitet som motvikt mot den irrationella idioti som allt mer sprids om den ekonomiska krisen.

Conclusion
The agenda ahead is clear. The conservatives are pushing austerity for all they are worth because they see it as an effective vehicle to finish of their “program”.

For three decades, the neo-liberals have been trying to undermine the welfare state and reduce the size of the public sector. They have had considerable success in this “program”. But they were not fully successful and important social protections still remain.

Now they have the opportunity to exploit this major economic crisis which their market-oriented policies created in the first place to complete their demolition of their agenda.

We have to encourage more poetry!


3 comments:

Jan Wiklund sa...

Och jag hänvisar till Wigforss igen, skrivet på den tiden även politiker kunde visa på sunt förnuft: http://www.folkrorelser.nu/rorelsemapp/dokument/wigforss.html

Teckentydaren sa...

Den skriften, Wigforss, är belysande på många sätt jämfört med dagens politiska situation. Här har vi ett valmanifest (1932) som faktiskt utgår ifrån att de potentiella väljarna är intelligenta tänkande människor som kan ta till sig logiska analyserade resonemang om ekonomi och politik och inte som idag när allt annat än snuttifierade enfaldiga slogans anses som politiskt självmord.

Den gode Bill Mitchell som jag "lånade" texten från har i dag ett utmärkt inlägg om dels Grekland och Moody's men inte minst om bl.a. en ILO rapport om hur krisen slagit mot den arbetande befolkningen globallt.

Bill Mitchell: The assault on workers’ rights continues

ILO: Global Employment Trends

Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC)
"…… a dramatic increase in the number of trade unionists murdered in 2009, with 101 killings – an increase of 30% over the previous year … [and] … growing pressure on fundamental workers’ rights around the world as the impact of the global economic crisis on employment deepened. ..."

Lowering the bar or Setting the standard?
Deutsche Telekom’s u.s. labor practices

New Outrage Exposes Obama’s Failure To Help Unions

Björn Nilsson sa...

Klassiska nationalekonomer kunde tillgripa citat från klassiska poeter. Vad det gäller deras moderna efterföljare kan man ifrågasätta om de vare sig förstår ekonomi eller poesi. Själv anser jag att en dos poesi då och då är mycket välgörande för den mentala hälsan och hjälper oss att se klarare i tillvaron.

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