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…
The Chiemgauer is a regional currency that has seen a boom during the global financial crisis.
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 The worrying thing is that many policy makers and economist still work on this outdated model.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.
Hazel Henderson discusses the need to abandon GNP as an indicator, as it entirely misses the mark and does not measure quality of life.
There are 10 calories of hydrocarbon energy in every calorie of food you eat.
A helpful visual representation of money flows between government and private sector. The actual explanation of the thought process can be found here: part 1 and part 2. It is obviously a conceptualisation that simplifies much of what is going on. I therefore recommend also having a look at Money is created out of nowhere (Dominic Frisby), Money as debt (Paul Grignon) and Money as Debt II – Promises Unleashed (Paul Grignon).
There has been a lot of discussion about the viability of GDP as a measure of development (see The Genuine Progress Indicator, an alternative to GDP (Ron Colman)). Here, Morten Jerven discusses another issue with GDP, namely its unreliability (with a focus on Africa). Estimates of economic growth rates and per-capita income are basic to the operation of governments in developing countries and to nongovernmental organizations and other entities that provide financial aid. As Jerven notes, the current catchphrase in the development community is “evidence-based policy,” and scholars are applying increasingly sophisticated econometric methods—but no statistical techniques can substitute for partial and unreliable data. Similar arguments have been put forward regarding extreme poverty calculations (see What is happening to poverty? (Rammelt and Surace)).
David Korten is an economist, author, and former Professor of the Harvard Business School. His political activism has made him a prominent critic of corporate globalization.