Devalue or Else

In our new debate series, Devalue or Else!, we look at the idea of an organised devaluation as the key to recovering the UK economy and restoring the nation as a centre of industry. An often ignored policy area, the UK's exchange rate has significant ramifications for our political economy and internal domestic tensions, both in terms of socio-economic class and geographically - the north south divide. Would a devaluation see Britain's exports boom and employment surge, or would it lead to high levels of imported inflation and a plunge in living standards? This debate will look at the pros and cons of devaluation as a means of rebuilding a healthy and balanced UK economy within a globalised world.

Response to Curzon Price on a British devaluation

Devaluation alone is not the solution to the UK's economic woes. But it is the necessary foundation needed for other policies to work.

Is devaluation of sterling the answer to Britain's economic woes?

In his new book John Mills makes a strong case for a British devaluation of sterling but we must start thinking about the socio-political foundations which shape our dysfunctional economy - you can't have a German economy sitting on the UK's political structures.

Why cutting expenditure won't reduce the UK's deficit

The deficit is the consequence, not the cause, of Britain's financial problems. Reducing it would require big increases in spending from corporates and consumers. Could the trade balance component be the easiest route out of austerity?

"Currency war" rhetoric obscures the real need for realignment

Global economy remains so imbalanced that significant currency shifts are needed, not only to help pull the West out of its slump but to ensure a stable and viable world for us all.

Foreign ownership of British assets has damaged our economy

Unlike any other developed nation the UK has sold off considerable amounts of its major industries and assets to overseas owners. This has weakened democratic control of industry, inflated our exchange rate and seriously undermined our manufacturing base. Here's why.

Norman Tebbit exchange with John Mills - how to fix Britain's industry

John Mills and Norman Tebbit discuss Britain's approach to manufacturing, home-grown industry, foreign ownership of assets, the exchange rate, and re-examine the choices of former governments and how they have affected Britain's economy today.

Mills responds to Curzon-Price on productivity, wages and the UK's low earners

We may not be able to do much about the top decile protecting their earnings, but we can drive the bottom up if we focus on areas of existing strength in productivity - here's why

Devaluation could exacerbate inequality rather than reduce it

Continuing our Devalue or Else series, Tony Curzon-Price replies to John Mills, arguing that further devaluation could even increase the earnings divide across UK industries. Could this effect be enough to offset the equality gains from increased employment?

Why devaluation could reduce inequality

It is not just Britain's balance of trade that would be aided by a substantial devaluation but also inequality and the host of ills it brings with it. John Mills explains why in this second round of articles from the debate Devalue or Else.

Mills replies to Skidelski: without more devaluation nothing will turn round the UK economy

In this thoughtful reply to Robert Skideslky, John Mills examines the UK's trade performance post-crash and argues that, though requiring a more rounded industrial policy as a whole, any measures taken without further devaluation will fail to turn the economy around. 

Devaluation is no panacea

The opening response of our Devalue or Else! debate, Robert Skidelsky addresses the arguments of John Mills and suggests devaluation has many potential problems as a means of restoring Britain's economic fortunes. 

A price that matters

Reproduced with thanks to Civitas, in this 2012 pamphlet John Mills sets out the case for devaluation as the best means of returning the British economy to balance and prosperity. It is published here in full, except for tables and footnotes, as part of OurKingdom's new series - Devalue or Else!

Devalue or Else - a new OurKingdom debate on the British currency

With a troubled future ahead for the UK, could devaluation hold the key to a more balanced and productive economy? Throwing up a range of political and economic questions beyond the tired dichotomy of austerity vs Keynesian stimulus, the debate will shed fresh light on the UK's economic position and its options in a globalised marketplace. 

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