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Blogs

Recovering from COVID-19? Let’s do it without GDP growth

COVID-19 has infected both our bodies and economies. On March 12, Mark Rutte compared the Dutch economy to ‘a patient’ requiring treatment. The next day, his government was ready with a rescue plan for major firms, such as Air France-KLM and Schiphol. Just as our bodies need oxygen, the economy needs money – so the theory goes. Other European governments are also preparing to inject credit, and a lot of it, to ensure their economies’ survival.  Yet, this cure is limited. It presupposes that our economies need growth in order to flourish. If we do not steer away from this limited paradigm, then the cure we apply now will become a liability by giving rise to potential crises in the future. Read more…

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Talks

Degrowth on Rebel Radio

Irene Hadjidakis · Show 1 Rebel Radio

Returning to work after a relaxing holiday, you make a resolution not to get caught up in the ratrace again. A week later you find yourself right back in. Why? Because the conditions haven’t changed. The corona crisis is a terrible ordeal, but it has also been a period of reflection. Let’s work to change the structures, institutions and rules, so that we do not return to a system that was environmentally destructive, socially unjust and generally terribly unstable. In these two interviews with XR’s rebel radio, Crelis Rammelt (Assistant Professor Environmental Geography and International Development Studies, UvA, starting at 1:12) and Julia Karch (student, UvA) reflect on the crisis from a degrowth perspective.

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Blogs

This isn’t the type of downscaling that degrowth thinkers have in mind!

In the early 17th century, the bubonic plague is said to have played a crucial role in popping the tulip bubble in the Netherlands. Today, the coronavirus (COVID-19) is leading not only to a health crisis, but also an economic one. The outbreak is sparking realistic fears of a deep global downturn. Our globalised, just-in-time, cost-cutting, risk-taking and profit-maximising economy has shown a rather limited ability to absorb shocks. In a time of crisis, the instability and fragility, but also the inequality of the economic system becomes painfully obvious. Read more…

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Talks

Local Perceptions of Changing Food Systems in Northern Ethiopia

Rammelt, C. F. (2019). Masterclass: Tracing the Causal Loops, Local Perceptions of Changing Food Systems in Northern Ethiopia. Sydney: UNSW.
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Blogs

Capitalism inevitably leads to crises

Capitalism typically goes through cycles of expansion to contraction. We commonly refer to these as ‘business cycles’ or ‘economic cycles’. Every now and then, however, these cycles go off the hinges. They become unstable and can lead to recessions, crises and depressions. This inherent instability of the capitalist system cannot be explained by standard economic models. Instead, those models blame instability on excessive regulation, government interventions or other factors outside the market-economic system. Some unorthodox economists see it differently. Steve Keen, for example, developed an alternative kind of economic model—one that can mimic instability. The model provides compelling and urgent insights into how economic crises arise from within the structures of capitalism. Another crisis seems inevitable as long as the causes are misdiagnosed. Read more…

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Development Economy

Life and Debt (Stephanie Black)

Jamaica in the 1970s: Govt. investments in development (health, education, housing, agriculture). Imagine a well-running hospital, educated personnel, well-equipped, affordable. Debt is now 150% of GDP. State funds are committed to service debt. So imagine the same hospital 40 years later, no maintenance, insufficient(ly) trained staff, expensive medicine/treatment…

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Economy

Economic stability leads to instability (Hyman Minsky)

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Blogs

Good infinity

Cycles of growth and decline in ecology were famously revealed in so-called predator-prey relationships. As foxes eat chickens, chicken reproduction drops, which leaves fewer chickens for foxes to eat. Consequently, the fox population drops, which then allows the chicken population to rebuild. As its food source becomes available again, the fox population also rebuilds and the cycle starts again. Read more…

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Development Economy

Regional currency system

The Chiemgauer is a regional currency that has seen a boom during the global financial crisis.

Categories
Economy

How banks work

There’s a lot of confusion about how banks work and where money comes from. Very few members of the public really understand it. Economics graduates have a slightly better idea, but many university economics courses still teach a model of banking that hasn’t applied to the real world for decades. The worrying thing is that many policy makers and economist still work on this outdated model. In this video course we’ll discover how banks really work, and how money is created.