Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Economic Models in the US and UK

So. A group of students at the University of Manchester in the UK want to reform their economics curriculum to address new post-crash realities. And 'The [London] Guardian/Observer' is jumping on the bandwagon. Good for them. Almost.

A quick look at the economic scene in both the UK and the US tells us that absolutely nothing has changed since before the crash. We have recovery. But for shareholders representing capital only. Not for labor. Not for communities. Not for the environment. And it's all based on new unsustainable bubbles in the housing and stock markets.

We have learned nothing. And we were all so ready to. Took part in Occupy. Wondered about how to create local economies that are independent of Wall Street and the City of London. Where the creation of 'wealth' and its enjoyment are controlled by the people who are immediately affected by it.

But. It's the same old story. Today's crisis became yesterday's news because there's a new show about dragons on the telly.

So, I welcome the desire to address a new economic model. And then I read the small print. Capitalism has failed! Markets are rubbish! Hand it all over to the state!

No. You bastards. Don't hand over my life to anyone else. Hand it back to me. You f**king clowns.

Why, oh why, can't at least one genius, in charge of someone's policy unit somewhere, come up with the simple notion that we don't have to reinvent the economic universe; we just need to tweak it, in favor of people, their communities and the environment?

I have no problem with shareholder capitalism, per se, be it institution-based, co-operative based, even state-based (although I still think 'the state' makes a lousy businessman or woman).

But why not make this small change? Insist that shareholder companies be accountable not only to capital (private, individual, institution or state), but also to employees, communities and the environment, by legislating that all public companies (plus private companies over a certain size?) allow employees/communities to elect a set number of Board Directors?

Of course, that would require that employees and communities given such an opportunity actually took advantage of it. As they are so religiously failing to do with my own co-op, Weaver Street Market
. But horse and water. Horse and water ...

In the meantime. Why does everyone have to make it so complicated? Or, am I just being too simple ... ??