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Economic liberalisation is a world phenomenon. Socialist countries, capitalist countries, all of them, have to take to liberalisation. The liberalisation took place first in Britain, then in the United States under President Reagan, these were not liberalising from a socialist system. I think it is because of the stage of economy which the world has reached at present and the stage of technology. At every historical and technological and economic age there are policies which would be suitable for that period and countries. We have to adopt policies, dictated by the circumstances and the necessities of the time.
Among the many factors that have promoted economic change, I believe that technology or, rather, change in technology is the most prominent. I realize that it is dangerous to look for 'ultimate causes' in a world where everything seems to depend on everything else. But I believe that for the most part the economy, and ultimately the society, must adapt to the conditions that technology creates. If it cannot adjust to the challenges of changing technology, it fails.
But why had science lost its way in the first place? What appeal could these teachings of Pythagoras and Plato have had for their contemporaries? They provided, I believe, an intellectually respectable justification for a corrupt social order. The mercantile tradition that had led to Ionian science also led to a slave economy. You could get richer if you owned a lot of slaves. Athens in the time of Plato and Aristotle had a vast slave population. All that brave Athenian talk about democracy applied only to a privileged few.
The things you hear now about European unemployment — that there are structural problems, that real wages have failed to adjust, that there are inflationary fears — are the same things that were said during the early 1930. It is well established that government spending began to pull Germany out of its slump in 1935. There is no known reason why spending for peace can't do as well at getting the economy going as spending for war.
Populism is at its essence [...] just determined focus on helping people be able to get out of the iron grip of the corporate power that is overwhelming our economy, our environment, energy, the media, government. [...] One big difference between real populism and what the Tea Party thing is, is that real populists understand that government has become a subsidiary of corporations. So you can't say, let's get rid of government. You need to be saying let's take over government.
Nineteenth-century civilization rested on four institutions. The first was the balance-of-power system which for a century prevented the occurrence of any long and devastating war between the Great Powers. The second was the international gold standard which symbolized a unique organization of world economy. The third was the self-regulating market which produced an unheard-of material welfare. The fourth was the liberal state. Classified in one way, two of these institutions were economic, two political. Classified in another way, two of them were national, two international. Between them they determined the characteristic outlines of the history of our civilization.
In Vermont, at a state beach, a mother is reprimanded by Authority for allowing her 6 month old daughter to go about without her diapers on. Now, if children go around naked, they are liable to see each others sexual organs, and maybe even touch them. Terrible thing! If we [raise] children up like this it will probably ruin the whole pornography business, not to mention the large segment of the general economy which makes its money by playing on peoples sexual frustrations.
The system of building, described in this work, is intended for repetition. It would hardly pay to adopt it in its entirety for a single house if the matter were to end there. Where the processes and apparatus is used, over and over again, great economy should result; but for a single building, the trouble and expense of introducing so many new or unusual features and methods, might well offset the benefits which should accrue under more favorable conditions. Standardization both of parts and workmanship plays a great part in the economies obtained and standardization implies quantity.
Milosevic was convinced that he could create Greater Serbia on the ruins of Yugoslavia, which is why he entered the war adventure that left thousands and thousands dead, a destroyed economy, infrastructure, homes, cities and villages. That politics did not succeed. Dodik, basically, wants to achieve Milosevic's aims, but not with artillery, but thinks that some sort of politics will lead to people saying: okay, let them break away, let them link with Serbia. That cannot pass.
Modern macroeconomics flourished in its pursuit of the secrets of long-run economic growth, but it neglected short-run economic problems. In the long run, prices are flexible, and the growth of the economy is determined by the growth in the ability to supply goods and services. But in the short run prices are not flexible. Growth can be held back because prices are too high and, as a result, demand is too low. Keynes made his name by analyzing short-run problems caused by the stickiness or even rigidity of some important prices. But these Keynesian ideas were abandoned by modern macroeconomics.
If the amount of money going into the war economy were invested in landscape restoration, we would be in a far more positive position. It may get a little dire before we pull together, but I think when the prosperous nations, and in particular the US, realise they're wrecking their own kids' lives, there will be a mass change in value. It will be a difficult century, and ugly, but I don't think that in the end people are so stupid as to kill themselves off.
I return to economics and to economists, and to the question of why the profession's directions have evolved in the manners evident from this book. A major conservative economist once explained that a source of his antipathy to government traced back to the defeat of his southern ancestors by a larger north economy. Here is a similar factoid. Joan Robinson once wrote that her opposition to having the U. K. enter the European Market was due to the fact that she had more friends in [Nehru's] India than on the continent.