Sunday Papers: Mainstream economists live in a parallel universe
Economics and the schools that teach it have been wrong for such a long time that its students have collectively embraced a mythical model that does not account for the role of money, banks, debt or land.
Renegade economist and friend of the show, Professor Steve Keen recently took the stage at the Sunday Papers event in London to discuss what you’re not being told about the global economy.
Are the Kids Alright?
The days of the job for life, gold watch and a long and comfortable retirement are long gone. Ironically, today’s Western curriculum, which has barely changed for a century, continues to prepare pupils for a standardized world. How does a stagnating education system reinvent itself to equip students to solve new problems and prepare them for a workplace that doesn’t yet exist? Ross Ashcroft is joined by the chief executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, Professor Dame Alison Peacock, and educator and writer Graham Brown-Martin.
The student debt bomb
Out of all the arguments and excuses that people manufacture to justify the financialisation of society, the most difficult one to accept is that creating a market in education is the only way it can be funded. This view becomes even harder to justify when it is promoted by a generation of people who benefited from free further education. As many of that generation are now drawing their triple-lock pensions, a younger generation of students are being lumbered with eye-watering amounts of debt, which begs a very simple question: why have British politicians turned the classroom into an asset class?
The privatisation of debt collection in Britain has resulted in a boom for the bailiff industry of such massive proportions it would make Al Capone blush. Over 300 UK local authorities outsourced their debt collection to private bailiffs in 2014-15. More than two million debt collection referrals took place over that 12-month period, which works out to more than six new debt enforcement instructions every minute. This is why the industry is seeing double digit growth year-on-year. But at what social cost?
November 2008, Queen Elizabeth visited the London School of Economics and asked why no economist saw the financial crisis coming. Since that exchange, the realisation has dawned on many that it is the discipline of economics itself that is the problem. Until economics is fixed, mainstream economists will continue to fly blind. And we will continue to foot the bill. Economist and author of ‘Doughnut Economics’, Kate Raworth, calls for ‘an economics reformation’.
Aid programs keeping countries in poverty
For every dollar of aid poor countries receive, they lose 10 dollars to multinational tax havens. They pay around $200 billion per year in debt service to banks in rich countries. Writer and anthropologist, Jason Hickel whose book, ‘The Divide’, debunks the myths around inequality and poverty, joined co-founder and presenter Ross Ashcroft on this week’s episode of Renegade Inc to discuss why aid programs are deliberately keeping 60% of the world’s population in poverty.