Hugh McDermott for Prospect


Pages tagged "social democratic theory"

The Rise of the Regressive Right and the Reawakening of America

by Robert Reich

A fundamental war has been waged in this nation since its founding, between progressive forces pushing us forward and regressive forces pulling us backward. 

We are going to battle once again.

Progressives believe in openness, equal opportunity, and tolerance. Progressives assume we’re all in it together: We all benefit from public investments in schools and health care and infrastructure. And we all do better with strong safety nets, reasonable constraints on Wall Street and big business, and a truly progressive tax system. Progressives worry when the rich and privileged become powerful enough to undermine democracy.

Regressives take the opposite positions.

Read more

3 key priorities for NSW Labor Policy Forum

by Hugh McDermott

On Monday, 17  October,  voting commences for the election of your 16 representatives on the  NSW Labor Policy Forum.    With your support, we can work together to rebuild NSW Labor by ensuring ALP policy is aligned with our strengths, values and beliefs.   If elected, I will pursue 3 key priorities:

Read more

Why Parties need to become Movements again

By Marcus Roberts and Daniel Elton

Winning progressive parties in the 1990s were those that had learnt the lessons of the 1980s: that division, disorganisation and an obsession with a core left vote was no way to win. As a consequence from Blair and New Labour to Schroeder and the SPD’s Neue Mitte, progressive parties in the ‘90s embraced change through discipline, professionalism, tight message control and a focus on the political centre ground. Such an approach made sense at the time both as a response to the defeats of the previous decade and as a positive appeal to the moderate-minded electorates of the affluent 1990s.

But the electoral and economic challenges of recent years call for a change as dramatic as that of the 1980s to 1990s. In short, the era of political organisation predicated upon hierarchy has passed and the time has come for political organisation based on movements.

Read more

A Plan B For The World Economy

by Christian Kellermann

‘Capitalism’ is back on Main Street. Crashing, dismantling, reforming, repairing, restoring – all kinds of approaches to capitalism are discussed in the wake of the recent crisis. The debate has gained far more momentum today than it had during the past decade, though we had already witnessed a number of such crises. However, in practice, the gap between regulatory rhetoric and actual reform of our economies and the world economy as a whole is still considerable. Our systems remain at risk of on-going instability. Crises will continue to be the norm rather than the exception if we keep on working with the dysfunctions of current capitalism. Many of us will be unable to live a decent life under conditions of increased insecurity, inequalities and pressure in terms of wages, jobs, raising children and providing for old age. An excessive degree of unequal income distribution and personal insecurity is not only detrimental to a good life; it is also economically dangerous and inefficient. The reasons for economic crises and increasing inequality, which are symptom and root of personal and systemic insecurity and inefficiency alike, are manifold.

Read more

On Glocalization coming of Age

by Zygmunt Bauman

One is tempted to say: social inventions or re-inventions (as the newly invented/discovered possibility of restoring to the city square the ancient role of the agora on which rules and rulers were made and unmade) tend to spread “as forest fire”. One would say that, if not for the fact that globalization has finally invalidated that time-honoured metaphor. Forest fires proceed byspreading. Today’s social inventions progress by leaping.

In order to explain what I have in mind, let me recall one of the less hyped aspects of the recent, though already half-forgotten experience of the “Arab Spring”…

Read more

The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive

In his new book, The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive, Dean Baker argues that progressives hurt their cause whenever they accept the conventional wisdom that conservatives are for the “free” market while progressives are for government intervention in the market economy.  In a much-needed counter-narrative, Baker stresses that this is both bad policy and bad politics.  He takes apart this fundamental misframing of economics and details how conservatives actually use the government to twist markets to their advantage and points out that they are just smart enough not to own up to it.

Read more

Where is Progressive Political Leadership?

By George Irvin

London is burning. The major western economies are now like a shipwreck waiting to happen. Although financial markets are inherently volatile and the real economy may not hit the rocks this week (or even next), we know that the financial system in Europe—which includes the UK—and America is increasingly fragile.[1] We desperately need to restore the confidence that leads to jobs and growth, but we have run out of economic tools to fix the economy. The limits of monetary policy have nearly been reached while the real answer—a co-ordinated fiscal stimulus—is ruled out by bone-headed right-wing politicians in Europe and the United States.[2]

Read more

Economics for Dangerous Times

by Paul Collier

These are dangerous economic times. The Keynesian framework within which the policy response to the Great Recession was forged in 2009 is no longer adequate. The OECD may have reached the limits of crude fiscal stimulus and monetary expansion.

Fiscal credibility has eroded:  the financial brink on which Spain and Italy now teeter has seen the borrowing costs of their governments rise to exceed those of the government of Sri Lanka, while unprecedentedly US government debt has lost its triple-A rating. Even where monetary expansion is still feasible, as in the USA and the UK, interest rates are so low that it is hard to see how this would produce much of a stimulus. Yet over recent months the risk of a double-dip recession in the absence of further stimulus has evidently increased.

In the UK the incipient recovery of 2010 has stalled – the past nine months have seen virtually zero growth at a time when the economy should have been bouncing back from the deep recession of 2009, and hence growing faster than usual. The UK started from a genuinely difficult policy dilemma. Meanwhile, and less excusably, the USA and the Euro-Zone have each conjured up considerable risks of a return to recession through distinct yet persistent policy dysfunctions.

Read more

Turn Left for Growth

by Joseph Stiglitz

Both the left and the right say they stand for economic growth. So should voters trying to decide between the two simply look at it as a matter of choosing alternative management teams?

If only matters were so easy! Part of the problem concerns the role of luck. America’s economy was blessed in the 1990s with low energy prices, a high pace of innovation, and a China increasingly offering high-quality goods at decreasing prices, all of which combined to produce low inflation and rapid growth.

President Clinton and then-Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan deserve little credit for this – though, to be sure, bad policies could have messed things up. By contrast, the problems faced today – high energy and food prices and a crumbling financial system – have, to a large extent, been brought about by bad policies.

Read more

Rudd's hidden economic legacy; or why we still have an economy to debate over

by John August

Looking back past the controversies around the Carbon Tax, before Tony Abbott took over the Liberal Party, there was the Global Financial Crisis. Rudd, Tanner and others took a stand, and initiated their stimulus package.  Many saw this as meaning Australia "dodged a bullet", but the Libs and other commentators felt otherwise. But, now its something I want to look at again; maybe it's the only reason we even *have* an economy where we can debate the effects of a carbon tax on it.

There were claims Australia was buoyed up by the Chinese economy, so the stimulus package wasn't needed.

Read more