In late 2005, Keene became the first economist to predict the 2007-08 financial crisis, earning himself the Revere Award from the Real World Economics Review for “being the economist who most cogently warned of the crisis, and whose work is most likely to prevent future crises.”
In the first half of our interview, Professor Keen explains why conventional economic theory doesn’t describe capitalism accurately, as well as Hyman Minsky’s hypothesis on the significance of private debt in the economy— something that is largely ignored by the predominant “Neoclassical” school of economics today.
In the second half, we turn to the prescriptive. Keen contends the main thing people need to think about is that “as well as workers and capitalists we have creditors and debtors in this economy— and by far the most important social clash these days is not between workers and capitalists, it’s between the financial sector and the rest of the economy.”
As for the Left, Keen thinks in order to win it must be less reactive and more intelligent in their campaigning, otherwise the future we’ll face “will be that of The Hunger Games and not of a democratic society.” That means focusing more on the role of private debt than on wage campaigns or unionization, and fighting for a modern debt jubilee and universal basic income.
Keen wraps up our discussion with his forecast for the global economy and gives us his predictions for what countries are most likely to face a crisis in the next 1-3 years.
** Please donate to Left Out on Patreon to receive exclusive content and access to engaging with our future guests. Your small donations keep this alive: https://www.patreon.com/leftout **
Professor Steve Keen, the first economist to predict the 2008 financial crisis, explains why mainstream economists aren't experts on money and finance.
In this episode of Left Out, we sat down with Kali Akuno — the co-founder and co-directer of Cooperation Jackson. We discuss the emerging network of worker-owned cooperatives and the people behind it building an alternative, solidarity-based economy inside the majority-black and impoverished city of Jackson, Mississippi.
We then diver deeper into the different types of worker-owned cooperatives that makeup Cooperation Jackson; the importance of developing cooperatives with clear political aims; and the need for a nationwide network of cooperatives and solidarity economic institutions as a viable alternative to the exploitative nature of our current economic, social, and environmental relations.
*** Please donate to Left Out on Patreon to receive exclusive content and access to engaging with our future guests. We depend on your support to keep this show alive: https://www.patreon.
In our next episode of LEFT OUT we sit down with Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson and spoke to him about his new book, Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi. Here is a short clip from that interview.
The second episode of Left Out "Taking Power in a Climate of Chaos" is coming soon! Here is a clip of our guest, Christian Parenti, speaking about climate justice and its roots in the historical development of capitalism.
In this episode, we sat down with Christian Parenti to discuss climate change and our current political landscape. Parenti is a sociologist trained at the London School of Economics and is currently an economics professor at John Jay College (CUNY). He’s written extensively on the connection between climate change and geopolitical conflict around the globe and has reported from war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as parts of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. His writing has appeared in Fortune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Middle East Report, London Review of Books, Mother Jones, and The Nation (where he is Contributing Editor).
In 2011 he authored the book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and The New Geography of Violence , which explored how climate change is already causing violence as it interacts with the legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism. His latest piece of work is featured in Anthropocene or Capitalocene?: Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism, alongside a collection of provocative essays on nature and power, humanity, and capitalism framed within a politics of hope that signal the possibilities for transcending capitalism.
In our interview, we were able to ask Christian what it was like to straddle the realm between academia and journalism; prospects of climate catastrophe; climate change and climate justice; and the role of both politics and the state in any real solutions for a way forward.
David Harvey is arguably the most influential living geographer, as well as one of the world’s leading Marxist scholars. He is among the most cited intellectuals of all time across the humanities and social sciences.
Harvey currently works as distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at CUNY, where he has been teaching Marx’s “Capital: Critique of Political Economy” for more than four decades. His course on Marx’s Capital has been downloaded by over two million people internationally since appearing online in 2008.
His latest book, Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason makes the core of Karl Marx’s thinking in the three volumes of Capital clear and accessible for the lay reader, without compromising their depth and complexity.
As Harvey argues in our interview, most people who read Capital often stop after the 1,152 pages of Volume I, which is very problematic if you want to understand the workings of capital as a totality. We ask Harvey why understanding all three volumes of Capital is so crucial, and why technological, economic and industrial change over the last 150 years makes Marx’s analysis more relevant now than ever.
In the last half of the discussion, we probe into whether it’s necessary for social movements today to develop a stronger institutional basis for understanding how capital and capitalism works, and ask Harvey what the Left most focus on to effectively organize for a better economy and society.
PLEASE SUPPORT US!!!
We want to stay alive, but we also want to produce much more content, including a video version of our guest interviews, as well as on-the-ground reports from today's most important political, economic, and social movements. Any amount of donation would go a long way toward making that happen.
We are back! And for our first episode we sat down with David Harvey and talked to him about his new book, Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason. Here is a teaser from that interview.
In this episode we’re going to Cleveland, Ohio to explore the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative. Launched in 2008 as part of the broader University Circle Initiative, the three cooperatives that make up the Evergreen network are tied together by a non-profit organization called the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation. The utilization of surrounding institutions historically rooted in the community known as ‘anchor institutions’ play a central role in acting as both initial benefactors and customers of the coops as well. This novel structure has inspired other cities around the country to adopt what has come to be termed the “Cleveland Model.”
The initiative has offered an alternative to how community and economic development is approached by integrating cooperatives with a 501c3 that promises not only steady employment, but provides an opportunity to begin building wealth through worker-owners’ equity within the enterprise itself. At the same time, Evergreen has legitimized cooperatives as a vital form of development and introduced a more democratic arrangement that accounts for the interests of workers themselves.
Evergreen has not come without its own set of unique problems. Although any business start-up faces challenges getting off the ground, Evergreen’s particular structure presented difficulties that have forced many involved with the initiative to look inward and come up with dynamic responses.
We got in touch with John McMicken, CEO of the Evergreen Cooperative Corporation, the non-profit that links together all three coops. We were also able to speak with Nicholas Zingale, associate professor at Cleveland State University and Gar Alperovitz, co-chair of the Next Systems Project and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, an organization that provided initial support for the Evergreen project.
This episode takes a critical look at the The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal involving 12 countries, encompassing nearly 40% of the global economy. Though lauded by the U.S. government as a deal “ that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class”, a closer look demonstrates otherwise.
Exploring the thousands of pages of text with economists, policy experts, and union leaders, we delve into investor state dispute settlements, the relationship between the TPP and regressive distribution of wealth, monopoly creation through patent protection and what this all means for the working class.
Guests for this episode include Robert E. Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, Melinda St. Louis of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Wayne Ranick of the United Steelworkers Union and David Rosnick of the Center for Economic Policy and Research. You can link some of their work below.
The Economic Policy Institute's Robert E. Scott maintains a blog full of technical information on the TPP and other trade deals. For a review of trade relations with China since 2001 read Robert E. Scott’s The China Toll . He also has a more recent position paper written to the United States International Trade Commision dealing with the TPP in particular
The United Steelworkers covered the effects of the TPP on working families in a recent blog post
May 1st is recognized as the international day of labor. Over 50 countries recognize the day as an official holiday while dozens of others mark the day with large marches and protests. Yet, the nation in which it all began, the United States, does not recognize May 1st as a day for workers, instead the day is curiously observed as "Law Day". In this episode we interviewed Jonah Walters, a writer for Jacobin Magazine who recently published a piece on May Day, to explore the origins of May Day as well as the the peculiar history and specific struggles that made this day the day of international labor.