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SSE

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by

Gail Bradbrook

on 23 August 2013

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Transcript of SSE

A
bout

Why are we all pedalling on this manic treadmill toward oblivion?!
It's not exactly making us happy....
causing climate chaos
we're all drowning in debt
we're running a dangerous
climate experiment
the rich are getting richer
Why?
How did we get here?
What is driving this?
Why can't we stop it?
Basics
The economy is modelled on and dominated by "neo-liberal economics"
Neo-liberals model large scale
economics from a single "steady state" example: a household working in and
buying from a company.

A gross over simplification which ignores "emergent properties" and the
dynamics in an economy
Neo-liberal Model Ignores the role
of banks in money creation
and debt – core features of our
economy and central
to the mess we are in
Neo - liberal models diminish key
issues like inequality
and damage to the environment

but they are very lucrative for
the rich and big companies
Neo-liberal Models did not and cannot predict the spectacular economic crashes that have happened –
no scientific theory would be seen as suitable if it was unable to predict reality!
Such a flawed theory should be binned!
See Steve Keen "Debunking Economics"
for more details - book or youtube
Was used to establish neo-liberal dominance
and corruption
keeps it in place

Corruption
Explains the force,
coercion and tactics
used to establish
neo-liberal economic systems globally

Tax Havens
Core feature of current system.
Organise corruption services:
*Low Tax
*Little or no regulation
*Secrecy on offer

=undermining of democracy:
if you have money, go here for
a different set of rules
Tax Haven scale
*Tax evasion and avoidance
Taxes pay for public services
£123bn tax lost each year in the UK
Developing countries lose revenue
to end poverty

*Bribes and kickbacks
*market rigging, insider trading
*financial crisis by hiding problems
*drug and human trafficking
*dictators, criminials, mafia
*illicit political donations
Up to $32 trillion in "offshore" accounts -if the dollar bills
were flat stacked they
would go to the moon
and back FOUR times!
Half of world trade goes through them
Tax Havens Facilitate:
*Politicians use them

*They facilitate illicit political donations
*City of London, one of largest tax havens, donated 50% of Convervatives' money
*They fund lobbyists
*Advisory, standards and ethics bodies are run by those who benefit from tax havens:
accountants, lawyers, financiars, coporate Heads of Tax "the Pin-stripe Mafia"
Tax Havens survive because:
It is possible to end
tax haven abuse
but political will
is lacking
Our Captive State
Nye Bevan:
“Poverty, great wealth and democracy are ultimately incompatible elements in any society”

John Christensen (Tax Justice Network):
“Remember the Golden Rule: those with the gold make the rules”
•4000 people work in the UK’s £2billion lobbying industry.
•For every $1 spent on lobbying a company
can expect $100 return
•Wealthy donors shape think-tanks /academic institutions
•The media is dominated by vested interests.

•Former MP’s are given paid Directorships in companies
•23 of the 29 members of the UK Cabinet are millionaires

•Banks are serial offenders in corrupt practices
(libor fixing and money laundering are recent news).
•Banks have been caught doing the same illegal things
dozens of times. They "apologise" and pay the fine:
costing only 1% of their profits – paying to break the rules
is just seen as a cost of doing business.
A neo-liberal economy is based on the proliferation
of Debt

Debt
We are addicted to unsustainable
lifestyles & energy, which is running out

Depletion
Peak oil, peak everything
Our economy is based and hugely dependent on cheap energy (oil, coal and gas) as well as many other resources (water, minerals, soil).

As supplies diminish, the energy required to extract resources increases; cheap resources cease to be cheap.

We are in a time of increasing demand and decreasing supply. Basic economics tells us this leads to price hikes.
Exponential growth
Climate change
Following years of denial supported by vested interests and kicking this issue into the future, we find heading towards 6 degrees of warming.

Fossil records show a similar rapid temperature rise in a previous age that led to 95% species extinction.

Climate change now is increasing food prices and damaging infrastructure.

5% of the wealthy are responsible for most of the emissions. More equal societies are more likely to work on solutions.
Inequality is huge, costly and feeds corruption
Distribution
Divide, distract and rule
Current messages: Blame "benefits scroungers and fraudsters" for social and economic problems. Celebrate greed and extreme wealth as driving enterprise and progress.

Social problems increase for everyone in an unequal society

Only 3.4% of the super wealthy are entrepreneurs

A wealty elite, who's ancestors stole our land, do not have to pay inheritance tax on their key asset.

Small businesses find it hard to compete in the unequal playing field created for multinationals

Money buys power....
Why so much Debt?

Money is created into existence as a debt when banks agree a loan.
97% of money is debt!

Debt is a neo-liberal policy which serves the vested interests of finance, big business and the rich

Debt gives the appearance of economic growth, but most debt has a negative consequence
Debt comes with interest payments - your future labour is "owed" to someone wealthier

Debt slavery arises when the majority owe money to an elite which becomes increasingly difficult to pay back
Debt and Distribution
Debt and Depletion

You can't keep growing an economy on a finite planet
Debt driven economics is wrecking the planet
To cover debts companies are forced to expand and stretch margins
This affects quality and leads to importing of what can be made locally
-is happening in water use, species extinction, polution etc
9 billion people will live on the planet by 2050
In developed countries younger people have to support increasing numbers of older people.
We can't sustain these pressures with our
current economy in a finite planet.
Take back your power, our power!
Make changes in your own life and in your community

Draft Manifesto for Economic Justice - understand it, know it is possible.

Demand change

Share information
www.streetschooleconomics.wordpress.com/future
Solutions!
Policy:




Individuals:


Communities:

Replace capital controls, re-regulate
finance, reduce speculation using Spahn tax. Smaller, local mutuals give loans. Government creates money as a credit and through a citizens income. Citizens debt audit: cancel toxic debt. Modern debt jubilee: give everyone money!! Spend money into economy in Green New Deal.
Reduce debts and resist urge to buy things you don't need! Move your Money (see campaign), support Positive Money.
Support a local currency and the credit union. Create a gift economy.
Solutions!
Policy:




Individuals:


Communities:

Replace capital controls, re-regulate
finance, reduce speculation using Spahn tax. Smaller, local mutuals give loans. Government creates money as a credit and through a citizens income. Citizens debt audit: cancel toxic debt. Modern debt jubilee: give everyone money!! Spend money into economy in Green New Deal.
Reduce debts and resist urge to buy things you don't need! Move your Money (see campaign), support Positive Money.
Support a local currency and the credit union. Create a gift economy.
Solutions!
Policy:




Individuals:


Communities:

Tackle tax havens and tax dodging (unitary taxation, automatic information exchange, etc)
Tackle inequality. Limit political donations, lobbying and support transparency. Localise decision making, bring in liquid democracy. Prosecute board members of business who break the rules.

Join a union or campaign, eg Tax Justice UK. Boycott tax dodging companies. get active, fight back!
Promote boycotts and share information.
There is a myth that says we have a choice of two forms of economies:
State controlled socialism (which has been tried and didn't work
and Capitalism (with a big preference for the neo-liberal version)

This is just not true...
Check out economic democracy, PROUT, Green Economics & others.
We can have a mixed, locally focussed economy with small private enterprises, larger cooperatives and public ownership of things best run as monopolies.

What is an economy for? What are our values?
What about maximising happiness and minimising harm to people and planet. What about choosing our economy on this basis?

Solutions!
Policy:




Individuals:

Communities:
Undertake a "great transition" as outlined by NEF.
Localise food production through cooperative, permaculture farms.Use Green taxes, regulations, tariffs to reduce pollution. Invest in energy efficiency and support renewable energy and community ownership. Capture carbon by working with nature. Create a law against Ecocide.
Reduce your need for energy for heating and transport. Grow food. Shop local; who supplies your energy?
Develop or use a local community supported agriculture, farmers market and online shop (eg Stroudco). Increase community owned energy. Transition the local economy.
Solutions!
Policy:



Individuals:


Communities:
Promote cooperatives and employee owned businesses. Limit pay differentials to 20:1. Introduce land value charges and for other commons). Remove interest charges for loans.
Join campaigns supporting equality and social justice. Share the information from the Equality Trust.
Build inclusive communities and fight all attempts to scapegoat! Build your local community, have fun together!
Full transcript