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Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens's Public Library

Jul 28, 15

"This is not the time for left critics of Syriza abroad to pass judgment, to issue edicts from on high, or to grandstand with revolutionary rhetoric devoid of concrete substance. Syriza will sort this out in dialog with the Greek people. It is a time to fully comprehend the enormous obstacles Syriza faces in implementing its program. It is a time, above all, for constructive, comradely engagement; a time to think this through together. •"

Jul 28, 15

"Austerity constitutes the cornerstone of neoliberal policies. On the surface, it works as a strategy of reducing entrepreneurial cost. Austerity reduces labour costs of the private sector, increases profit per (labour) unit cost and thus boosts the profit rate. It is complemented by economizing in the use of “material capital” (alas, another demand curtailing strategy!); and also by institutional changes that, on the one hand, enhance capital mobility and competition and, on the other, strengthen the power of managers in the enterprise and share and bondholders in society. As regards fiscal consolidation, austerity gives priority to budget cuts over public revenue, reducing taxes on capital and high incomes, and downsizing the welfare state.

Austerity as a Class Project

However, what is cost for the capitalist class is the living standard of the working majority of society. This applies also to the welfare state, whose services can be perceived as a form of ‘social wage’. It is clear, therefore, that austerity is primarily a class policy."

Jul 28, 15

"Speaking in London on Sunday, Joseph Stiglitz warned that policies from centre-left governments such as Tony Blair’s had undermined the middle-ground message, partly by entrenching wealth for the very few.

Asked about the emergence of Corbyn against more moderate candidates, Stiglitz said young people were the most likely supporters as they felt badly let down by more mainstream politics.

“I am not surprised at all that there is a demand for a strong anti-austerity movement around increased concern about inequality. The promises of New Labour in the UK and of the Clintonites in the US have been a disappointment,” said the former World Bank economist who is a professor at Columbia University in the US."

Jul 28, 15

"A far-reaching new study suggests a staggering $21tn in assets has been lost to global tax havens. If taxed, that could have been enough to put parts of Africa back on its feet – and even solve the euro crisis"

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