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“Wouldn’t it be great if everyone said what they meant?” a voiceover asks in a ubiquitous TV ad for a major bank credit card. But what if the words people use have lost their meaning or have been changed to protect the guilty? That’s the exact situation we find ourselves in with today’s mainstream economics or, as Prof. Michael Hudson would call it, JUNK ECONOMICS.
We are deep into a worldwide credibility gap: Politicians and their minions in the media declare that any news they don’t agree with is fake; alternate realities exist as to what is real and not real; history and science are eliminated or denied; the public domain and infrastructure is privatized and monopolized in the name of misguided ideology; and economics has been hijacked as a tool of corruption and crime on a global scale.
With the world’s global economy spinning out of control, it’s more important than ever to learn – and perhaps relearn – all of the lessons of history, like them or not. You will find them in J IS FOR JUNK ECONOMICS: A GUIDE TO REALITY IN AN AGE OF DECEPTION, an unexpurgated look at the economic ideas that have allowed a resurgence of the true enemies of human progress: ignorance, feudalism and greed.
So who needs economics, the “Dismal Science?” There are those (The One Percent) who want you to be put off by economics so that you’ll buy into the myths of wealth creation they’re promoting along with their view of the “proper” functions of government (see Government, Socialism for the Rich, and the essay, The 22 Major Economic Myths of Our Time). We (The 99 Percent) cannot vote in our best interests if we accept the received wisdom of economics as promoted by Wall Street and an academia purchased by the vested interests (e.g., big oil, big pharma, big banking, etc).
Today, identity politics – without any mention of debt-strapped labor, consumer protection or new cold war confrontations – has supplanted any meaningful discussion of sustainable economic policy, to say nothing of the sustainable use of the earth’s resources. Vocabulary has become degraded and has facilitated the spread of misunderstanding and ignorance in the press, on the Internet, in classrooms and on the street.
It’s not necessary to re-invent the wheel to take action, however. The major issues that guide healthy economies were known to the Ancients (many appear in the Bible) and were expanded upon by the classical economists in the 18th and 19th centuries (debt forgiveness, compound interest, rent theory and unearned income in particular). Their aim was to leave the brutal legacy of feudalism behind and embrace new technology, better living standards, and an economy of abundance. Their ideas and principles are brought back into the spotlight here. This book deconstructs today’s watered-down, deceptive and value-free economics that favor the wealthy and powerful so that the next generation can create a successful economy with proper checks and balances, benefiting everyone.
Prof. Hudson’s unique experience, perspective and pithy insight make economics and economic history comprehensible for the rest of us as well as useful for exploring today’s uncertain political and economic environment – and he shows us just who the winners and losers are! J IS FOR JUNK ECONOMICS contains 400 A-to-Z vocabulary entries, 7 essays provide commentary and context, Prof. Hudson’s Bubble Model, author bio(s), author interview, and a full topic index. This is the one book on economics that you’ll want to refer to again and again.
Prof. Michael Hudson is one of the world’s leading economists. He is a veteran of Wall Street and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC). He counsels governments on finance and tax policy, and gives presentations all over the world to groups reflecting diverse academic, economic and political constituencies.