Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
What is needed is to accurately translate their terms into language that most can understand and then to show it for what it is.  Showing if for what it is in today's context means clearly including the trans-national arrangements and the way the system has been manipulated to the benefit of the wealthy at the cost of everyone else.   An angered and aroused public will do the rest....  I hope. :-)

I agree and that's the challenge.  

But, part of the reasoning has nothing to do with the masses.  It has to do with presenting an argument that is largely contained to academia, but gives scholars simple tools to fight the invasion of econo-think into the study of social phenomenon. Once we put them on the run there, we can carry on the fight to the public.

We have to demystify what's going on.  And I tend to think of pies or pizzas.  It's an easy metaphor for the whole thing.

So let's say that we have the way that the pie is divided up to start with, but one of the parties wants to increase the size of their slice of the pie.  But in doing this, they reduce the size of the pie. Why?

Your wife was right to think immediately, well what about the CEOs, because that's what's happening.  And I think that in part it shows just how counter-intuitive the argument that it's workers shrinking the pie.  Making them look ridiculous forces them to defend their arguments in real terms, and stop hiding behind the veil of academic authority.  

Now, why has the pie shrunk?

That's actually really simple, and it's tied up in the Anglo Disease.

Put money in the hands of people who are living at or near the margin of existence, I'm talking about people who are barely paying their bills, and they will spend the money.  Put money in the hands of people who own several homes, and they are going to "invest" it.

In the first case,additional money sets off a whole slew of economic activity. So let's say that the guy working at the factory sees his wages increase at the same time as his productivity does.  So his wage goes from $12/hour to $13/hour.  He has more money in his pocket, and he feels that he can afford to take his family out to eat, and he leaves a nice tip.  So now the waitress who's making $7/hr has more money in her pocket, so she decides that she can afford to buy milk for her kids instead of making them drink kool-aid.  So now that money has circulated again, and that's the key of it.

Put money into the hands of people who very little of it, and they will spend it on things that make their live much better.  It will circulate multiple times, and each circulation creates value that adds to the value of things being produced by a society.

Now put that money in the hands of someone who's already got a great deal of it, and they will put it away into an investment.  And the money does not circulate, the waiter gets no extra tips, the store no increase in milk sales. Instead it takes money from the real economy.  It takes more wages from the guy working in the factory, so he hardly ever goes out to eat, and the waitress's kids are going to be drinking kool-aid.

I'm hoping that that places in less academic terms.

I see two goals here.

  1. Attack the proponents of neo-liberalism in academia, where people grasp the technical terms.

  2. Once you've denied them the veil of authority that academia carries, the neo-libs are revealed as charlatans and selfish bastards.  You've got them on the run, carry the fight to the court of public opinion. Shame them, and force them to explain how their self serving ideology is anything else than greed.

First, you have to drive them out from their strongholds, that's why the academic argument comes first.

Then when you've denied them refuge in academic authority, you cut the bastards to bits for the whole world to see.  And once you've revealed them for what they are, it's not going to be a few discontents calling their bullshit for what it is, it will the masses prepared for the creation of another world.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sat Jan 10th, 2009 at 06:11:37 PM EST
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