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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Is capitalism ’mutating’ into an infotech utopia?

“He needs to take into greater account the impact of technology on both increased exploitation of labour and the dominance of the finance sector.” Review of Paul Mason’s ‘PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future’ (Allen Lane, 2015) 

Ten years in the campaign for tax justice - we have a long way to go

For more than a decade John Christensen has been at the forefront of the challenge to offshore finance, tax avoidance and evasion and the criminal immunity safeguarded by secrecy jurisdictions. Where's it heading?

Video debate - the wealth delusion

Do we need a more equal society, and a global tax on wealth, or does wealth benefit us all as a driver of investment and growth?

Blockchain versus vulture capitalism

The Bitcoin revolution offers a glimpse at a better humanity.

Rewriting (some of) the rules of the American economy: the Stiglitz Report

In this report as in the work of Piketty or Atkinson, there appears a new sense of confidence. But in adopting a middle class frame, it misses an opportunity.

Nash equilibrium

The mathematician John Nash, who died on Sunday, provided a foundation for economics that is rich, not dismal

Private finance and the post-2015 development agenda

Proposals for development financing in the post 2015 era highlight a major role for private finance. The Third International Conference on Financing for Development in July may run counter to the original vision of the sustainable development goals.  

Citizen solidarity not economic nationalism after GE2015

A realistic strategy that makes the left electable in England requires citizen solidarity rather than economic nationalism 

A Great German Greek Grexit Game?

Curzon Price is clearly right that the “game” is not “chicken.” It is not zero-sum. But the real question is, is it a game?

High-stakes European poker: a reply to Curzon Price

Frances Coppola responds to ‘The Varoufakis game is not chicken’, authored by Tony Curzon Price. Greek exit now would be disastrous for both Greece and the Eurozone. 

Britain's dysfunctional economy cannot last - but we can fix it

Because sterling is much too strong, manufacturing as a percentage of GDP in the UK has shrunk from 32% as late as 1970 to the unviable level of barely 10% now.

The Varoufakis game is not chicken

The FT thinks Greece is playing chicken. In fact, it's in a dominant position.

Does money grow on trees?

The debate about the banks' power to create money is becoming much more mainstream. After the recent event, Does Money Grow on Trees?, parliament is scheduled to debate the issue for the first time in 170 years.

G20 and corruption: why gender matters

Research indicates that when a gender participation "tipping point" has been reached there will be genuine change in policy direction and ultimate impact. If the G20 is serious about tackling corruption it needs more women leaders.

Why the G20 needs to tackle gender inequality: Brisbane and beyond

The G20 should listen to Oxfam and assess its agenda and actions based on how they support the fulfilment of women’s human rights and lead to gender equality. This is not a question of adding yet another issue to the G20 agenda.

G20: the union movement's fight for gender equality in the labour market

Women are more reliant on decent labour law, minimum wages and conditions, and labour market protections. Yet these minimum protections are continually under attack, and the reach of these safeguards against exploitation is declining.

G20: can women's human rights and economic growth co-exist?

Will the G20 adopt an approach that meets human rights standards for economic growth at the Brisbane Summit? More representation of women at the governance level is essential. Who is at the table matters.

TTIP and TPP: harnessing the anger of the people

In parallel to the EU-US trade deal currently under way, the US is negotiating a similar agreement with 11 countries of the Asia Pacific: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Walden Bello, leading critic of neoliberal and corporate globalisation, identifies the global strategy underpinning the two agreements. Interview.

Draining development: illicit flows from Africa

Since 1970, Africa has lost at least $854 billion through capital flight which is not only enough to wipe out the continent’s total external debt of $250 billion but leaving around $600 billion for poverty alleviation

Greens face problem with economic ‘growth’ framing

With well-being central to economic thinking, things like leisure and quality of life ‘naturally’ come to the fore – they’re assigned a value that was always excluded by the ‘economic growth’ frame.

The once and future EU recovery

The instigators of these anti-social and anti-democratic policies, rules and treaties defend them as the mechanisms to bring recovery, end fiscal deficits and reduce public indebtedness. Were they successful, their authoritarian nature should make them unacceptable.

Revoking banker's bonuses is not nearly enough

In February 2014, Professor Prem Sikka wrote a policy paper for Class on progressive reform of the banking sector. You can download and read the paper here:

Payment for goods: addressing the social democrat's dilemma

Gerald Holtham argues for a national community fund to help pay for Britain’s prized public services and ease the ‘triple-whammy’ of rising demand, sluggish productivity gains and highly mobile capital that has eroded the social democratic programme.

Slavery and trafficking: beyond the hollow call

It is only by being utopian that we'll be able to overcome the low-cost, high-volume retail business model that currently reigns supreme.

Whither Europe? The Modest Camp vs the Federalist Austerians

Proposals are multiplying – especially as evidence mounts that the crisis is continuing, despite all the official announcements of its end. Why not save Europe today, so that we can consider, in due course, how best to proceed with deeper, more difficult measures later on? 

The economics of anxiety: neoliberalism as obsessional neurosis

Neoliberalism is not a monolithic shock doctrine. It is an anxious form of crisis management, which evolves through its failed attempts to conceal a repressed truth.

Privatisation of governance: a multi-stakeholder slippery slope

A tight overlap between economic and political elites creates a massive push to shrink the public sector to accommodate private interests. This amounts to an abdication of state responsibility and a betrayal of the social contract between citizens and the state.

Why we can’t leave the power to create money in the hands of banks or regulators

We cannot rely on failed regulators to prevent banks from abusing the power to create money, as Ann Pettifor suggests.

Only a broad-based financial transaction tax will be effective

A well constituted financial transaction tax (FTT, or Tobin tax) can not only reduce levels of inequality but also curb some of the destructive elements of financial activity and make a positive contribution to economic growth.

Campaign finance reform would be a wasted effort

The still fresh McCutcheon v FEC Supreme Court decision, which removed limits to political campaign contributions, has angered activists and reformers, who call it nothing less than the privatization of government. But what if neither side is right?

Energy descent

These new value systems do not mean we will adapt to less, but rather we will return to core essentials, empowering individuals and local communities.

Not enough demand for green growth? Ask for it.

If change is slow to come from international agreements or business boardrooms, it could come from interconnected people who measure their success based on the sustainable impact their money and actions have. Aggregate environmental and social impact is the key.

The IMF – our sleeping beauty?

Finance has cast a spell on the framework for international economic co-operation established after the Second World War. The 2007-8 crisis and its aftermath highlight the need to rouse the IMF and the World Bank from their slumbers.

Why the precariat is not a “bogus concept”

The precariat, a class-in-the-making, is the first mass class in history that has systematically been losing rights built up for citizens. So, why is it the new dangerous class and how is it differentiated from other class groups in the evolving global labour process?

Reuniting the monetary union: a proposal to counter the eurozone’s imbalances

Persistent trade imbalances are threatening to derail the European economy. Luca Fantacci calls for a European Clearing Union to promote a sustainable pattern of production and consumption across the Eurozone.

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