Students Rebel Against Traditional Economics

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The Kick It Over Manifesto

We, the economics students of the world, make this accusation:

That you, the teachers of neoclassical economics and the students that you graduate, have perpetuated a gigantic fraud upon the world.

You claim to work in a pure science of formula and law, but yours is a social science, with all the fragility and uncertainty that this entails. We accuse you of pretending to be what you are not.

You hide in your offices, protected by your jargon, while in the real world forests vanish, species perish, human lives are ruined and lost. We accuse you of gross negligence in the management of our planetary household.

You have known since its inception that your measure of economic progress, the gross domestic product, is fundamentally flawed and incomplete, and yet you have allowed it to become a global standard, reported day by day in every form of media. We accuse you of recklessly supporting the illusion of progress at the expense of human and environmental health.

You have done great harm, but your time is coming to its close. The revolution of economics has begun, as hopeful and determined as any in our history. We will have our clash of paradigms, we will have our moment of truth, and out of each will come a new economics — open, holistic, human scale.

On campus after campus, we will chase you old goats out of power. Then, in the months and years that follow, we will begin the work of reprogramming the doomsday machine.

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  • jemcgloin

    Awesome Where do I sign?
    The rules of capitalist economics as described in standard textbooks predicts the disasters that result from unbridled capitalism. The drive for profit may incentivize building a better mousetrap, but it also incentivizes manipulating markets (from labor to commodities to interest rates to currencies to securitized mortgages) so the markets main function is not to distribute resources most efficiently, but to move wealth from the 99% to the .001%.
    This redistribution of wealth from most of us to a few is ignored by the corporate economists and the corporate media, of course, whose main function is to help in this looting of the world economy by transnational billionaires.
    In a perfect market there are no profits, since raising your price results in losing sales. Profits are a symptom of market imbalances, and and obscene profits are proof of manipulated markets.

  • AlanMacDonald

    Whether the economic system is neo-classic or neo-liberal Keynesianism, the seminal ‘flaw’ is that economics is a model of the world, not the reality of our world, and it (and its deceitful corporate crooked capitalist tricksters) promote the falsity of ‘growth’ being a pure good (with cancer would also agree), and do not acknowledge anything outside the ‘model’ but within our reality (including negative externality costs being dumped to generate faux-profits):

    This seminal problem — of creating faux profits by destroying the
    living planet — must, at heart, be recognized and understood as
    Capitalist Economics paramount flaw, which is; economists’ providing a
    flawed model of our world, instead of the real world (which includes ALL
    the costs of capitalist production and accumulation, including ALL
    negative externality costs — because there is no ‘externality’ to our
    world)

    Thus, not surprisingly, this Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE is much like cancer itself — growing to the point of killing the host.

    In reality, and in a varient to Margaret Thatchers infamous, arrogant, and false term TINA, There is no Alternative, we are faced with an economics for which TING (there is no ‘growth’), because when our whole world is a truly Global Empire, there is no dumping ground outside the Empire.

  • AlanMacDonald

    I like the term “Capital Reform” similar to the term ‘Land Reform’
    successfully used in many countries throughout history, but with
    ‘capital’ rather than ‘land’ being the reformed asset needing to be more
    effectively dispersed for sustainable productivity.

    Essentially, “Land Reform” (and the proposed ‘Capital Reform’) represent a
    non-violent method of taking any critical asset (land, capital, etc.)
    which has, over time, been; stolen, ‘looted’, horded, manipulated,
    monopolized, or otherwise taken out of productive use for the vast
    majority of honest working-class people themselves — by an arrogant,
    sociopathic, and tiny minority elite, like the 0.1% today.

    As such, “Capital Reform” (rather than ‘tax-reform’) is the only methodology that would allow a fast enough shift from the current and obviously
    dead-ended and unsustainable paradigm of the Global Capitalist Empire
    which IS disguising itself (behind a dual-party Vichy-political charade)
    as America — but which Empire is properly diagnosed by William
    Robinson below:

    “The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from dominant groups around the world to resolve problems of global capitalism and to secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this regard, “U.S.” imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of the U.S. state apparatus to continue to attempt to expand, defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system. We are witness less to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist imperialism. We face an EMPIRE of global capital, headquartered, for evident historical reasons, in Washington. [caps added]

    Robinson, William I. (2014-07-31). Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (p. 122). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

  • AlanMacDonald

    The seminal ‘flaw’ is that neo-liberal economics (as well as other variants) are but ‘models’ — and models which do NOT incorporate realities outside the model.

    In fact, there is a term even in the currently flawed economics, and that is “negative externality cost dumping”:

    As Neva Goodwin, ecological economist, head of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, and an advocate of cost
    internalization, puts it bluntly in David Korten’s fabulous 1995 “When Corporations Rule the World” —- “Power is largely what externalities
    are about. What’s the point of having power, if you can’t use it to
    externalize your costs–to make them fall on someone else?”

  • jsehgal

    Now, this is the BEST message of HOPE that I have EVER seen!
    Thank you students!
    I am an old goat and retired for a number of years. I have watched helplessly as capitalism has swallowed my daughters in huge education debt, overwork, poisonous medicines and a whole lot more. Christian missionaries came to my door with messages and news of hope!!! So did the thugs of Ayn Rand! The former lasted a minute. The latter lasted a few years till I finally worked myself out of the hole that I had let her dig me. All the while Wall Street thieves kept stealing my life and energy.
    But this time, I am quite sure that the students are right. Situating economics as a branch of social science is the right thing to do. Basing economics on the personal as well the collective nature of humans is a great first step. Milton Friedman and his likes need to be imprisoned for life for crimes against humanity.
    I look forward to the day that economics works for the collective DNA of this earth! This may mean including ecology among the social sciences as well. Not only us humans, but other creatures also need to live and consequently should have rights even though they are almost powerless against us. It not only makes ‘moral’ sense, it is mutual survival! How long do you think humans can survive once other creatures have been wiped off? Monocultures are so dangerous!
    Once again:

    Thank you Students!