Friday, April 20, 2012

Robert Skidelsky: 'Interpreting the Great Depression: Friedrich Hayek Versus John Maynard Keynes'

Source:New Economic Thinking- British economist/politician Robert Skidelsky.

"The Inaugural Conference @ King's, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Day 1 - Dinner.

1930 and the Challenge of the Depression for Economic Thinking: Friedrich Hayek versus John Maynard Keynes." 

"Robert Skidelsky is emeritus professor of political economy at Warwick University. His three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes (1983,1992, 2000) won five prizes and his book on the financial crisis – Keynes: The Return of the Master – was published in September 2010. He was made a member of the House of Lords in 1991 (he sits on the cross-benches) and elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994. How Much is Enough? The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life, co-written with his son Edward, was published in July 2012.

He is also the author of Britain in the 20th Century: A Success? (Vintage, 2014), editor of The Essential Keynes (Penguin Classics, 2015), and co-editor of Who Runs the Economy? (Palgrave, 2016) and Austerity Vs Stimulus (Palgrave, 2017).

He has recently written and filmed a series of lectures on the History and Philosophy of Economics which will be made available as an open online course in partnership with the Institute for New Economics Thinking.

His latest book is Money and Government, which will be published by Allen Lane in September 2018. He is now working on a book about automation and the future of work." 

Source:Robert Skidelsky- from his blog.

From Robert Skidelsky 

"Skidelsky has been a member of four political parties. Initially a member of the Labour Party, he left to become a founding member of the Social Democratic Party, in which he remained until it merged with the Liberal Party to become the Liberal Democrats in 1988. He objected to the merger and remained in the continuing SDP until its dissolution in 1990. On 15 July 1991 he was created a life peer as Baron Skidelsky of Tilton in the County of East Sussex[9] and in 1992 he joined the Conservative Party.[4] Around the time of the announcement of his peerage it was speculated that David Owen, a co-founder of the SDP, had lobbied then Prime Minister John Major for Skidelsky's appointment.[10] He was made an opposition spokesman in the Lords, first for Culture, then on the Treasury (1997–1999), but he was removed by William Hague, then party leader, for publicly opposing NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.[4]

In 2001 Skidelsky left the Conservative Party for the cross benches. He was Chairman of the Social Market Foundation between 1991 and 2001.[4]

In September 2015 Skidelsky endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in the Labour Party leadership election, writing in The Guardian: "Corbyn should be praised, not castigated, for bringing to public attention these serious issues concerning the role of the state and the best ways to finance its activities. The fact that he is dismissed for doing so illustrates the dangerous complacency of today's political elites. Millions in Europe rightly feel that the current economic order fails to serve their interests. What will they do if their protests are simply ignored?" 

Source:Wikipedia- British economist/politician Robert Skidelsky.

From Wikipedia

Citizens Against Government Waste: 2012 Congressional Pig Book

Source:Citizens Against Government Waste- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (Republican, Pennsylvania) talking about the CAGW report.
"Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released the 2012 Congressional Pig Book, the 21st edition of the group’s exposé of pork-barrel spending. CAGW was joined at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Northwest Washington, D.C. by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), as well as Representatives Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Tom Price (R-Ga.), and Paul Broun (R-Ga.) for a press conference announcing the release. Also in attendance were two live pot-bellied pigs, Bubbles and Churchill, courtesy of the Pig Placement Network in New Jersey and their handler for the day, Susan Magidson.

The 2012 Congressional Pig Book is a proverbial “good news, bad news” story. The good news is that, according to CAGW’s criteria, the number and cost of earmarks have decreased dramatically since fiscal year (FY) 2010, when the last Pig Book was published. The number has dropped by 98.3 percent, from 9,129 in FY 2010 to 152 in FY 2012, the fewest since CAGW published the first Congressional Pig Book in 1991. The cost has decreased by 80 percent, from $16.5 billion in FY 2010 to $3.3 billion in FY 2012, the lowest amount since 1992.

The bad news is that the moratorium on earmarks has been breached by Congress.

Since Congress declared the 2012 appropriations bills “earmark-free,” there are no lists of which members requested the earmarks or the location and purpose of the expenditures, which is a disturbing departure from the transparency of the past several years. Therefore, there are numerous opportunities for members of Congress to contact federal agencies after the fact and request that money to be directed to a district or state for the programs that have received mini-“slush funds,” despite the requirement that the money be spent competitively."

"CAGW Releases 2012 Congressional Pig Book" 

If you are a career politician who just happens to serve in Congress, (as if there are any other types of politicians who serve in the House or Senate) your number one priority, if only priority is getting reelected. And if not reelected, you are looking to get promoted. Maybe you serve in the House and you want to show that you can get elected statewide and run for the Senate or run for governor of your state. If you are in the Senate, you obviously want to get reelected or perhaps run for governor yourself, or perhaps you are looking at running for President.

My point is (yes, there's a point here) is that Congressional pork (which is Congressional appropriations that are a waste of taxpayer dollars, designed to please particular constituents) is designed to get members of Congress (House and Senate) reelected to promoted to higher office. You get career politicians out of Congress and you make Congressional elections (especially in the House) competitive and you eliminate post of the pork in Congress and in the Federal budget. 

Not saying that most of the pork in Congress comes from the House. If anything more pork comes from the Senate, simply because individual senators who aren't even in leadership or chairman or ranking of their particular committees, have more authority than individual representatives who have the same seniority in the House. 

What I'm saying is that Congressional careerism is a big reason for the Congressional pork that comes out of the House and Senate every year. And when you represent a partisan, gerrymandered district in the House, it's much easier to get reelected in the House, than in the Senate, because you don't have to run statewide, especially in a competitive state, like Pennsylvania or Michigan. 

So my solutions to eliminating Congressional pork, or at least seriously cutting back on it, is forcing Congress to go on a serious diet and get off the meat-lovers diet that they've been on since they were first elected to the House or Senate. And if you can't eliminate Congressional earmarks, you can at the very least make them be transparent. 

Make sure that every earmark that is attached to any Congressional bill (House or Senate) has the name of the member that the earmark belongs too. And force all earmarks to be paid for. 

These two changes right here would eliminate a lot of the Congressional pork. It's one thing to waste tax dollars when no can you see you doing that. It's another to do that publicly when people, including taxpayers are watching, especially when you are up for reelection. 

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