Alex Doherty – Digging in a Hole
Below is an interview with ZWriter Robin Hahnel, conducted by Alex Doherty of the New Left Project. In the interview Hahnel discusses economic crisis in the UK, Ireland, and the U.S.
Before getting to that interview however, we would like to point you to ZNet’s extensive coverage of the WikilLeaks’ CableGate release. We have published commentary and analysis from variety of ZWriters and from diverse angles too. Content is available in articles, audio, and video. Here are links to just some of our coverage so far, including how to visit the cables yourself:
Daniel Ellsberg: Letter to Amazon
Steve Ragan: WikiLeaks Heat
Eva Golinger: WikiLeaks Venezuela
Alexander Cockburn: Wanted by Empire
Noam Chomsky: Cable Revelations
Paul Street: Lives at Risk
John Pilger: CableGate
Ben Dangle: WikiLeak Bolivia
Justin Podur: CableGate
Sherwood Ross: Persecution of Assange
Robert Naiman: WikiLeak Honduras
Phyllis Bennis: New Mind Set?
Chris Spannos: Wikileaks & Beyond
Please check ZNet daily for regular updates…
Finally, we want to reminded you that Z Magazine’s December 2010 issue is now available online from our site, and also on news stands and in book stores near you. Z Magazine is also offering an “Outrageous Offer.” Please check the ZMag site for more details.
Here now, below, is Robin Hahnel…
Digging in a Hole
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Source: New Left Project
Robin Hahnel is Professor of Economics at American University. His most recent book is Economic Justice and Democracy and he is co-author with Michael Albert of The Political Economy of Participatory Economics. In this interview he and NLP’s Alex Doherty discuss the continuing mismanagement of the economic crisis in the UK, Ireland and the US.
Is the choice facing the UK economy simply whether to cut the deficit immediately, as the government is doing, or to do it over a much longer period of time, as the economy grows?
The Tory/Liberal Democrat government austerity program is not only callous and unfair, it is completely counterproductive since it will further depress the economy and not only increase unemployment, but reduce production, income, and therefore tax revenues. In the midst of the greatest economic decline in over eighty years, what is needed is fiscal stimulus, not fiscal austerity. Tory austerity policy will only damage the UK economy and make it even harder to balance budgets in the future. The Tories are practicing misguided nineteenth century economics—acting as if Keynes had never been born, and no lessons had ever been learned from the Great Depression about what is needed to reverse recessionary dynamics.
The common “wisdom” that advanced economies can no longer “afford” to provide high quality public services and adequate welfare programs is total malarkey. The productive potential in the advanced economies is considerably greater today than it was during the height of the welfare state, which means it is easier to provide even higher quality public services and more generous welfare programs than in the past.
When we look at the budget picture in the long-run, what has changed is that large corporations and the wealthy have managed to avoid paying the taxes they used to be required to pay. Not only Tories but the Labour Party has lost the political will to require them to pay their fair share of what it costs to provide adequate public services and welfare. That is what is creating long-run deficit problems in the UK, which means after the economy is up and running again the solution to any deficit problems is to force those who have benefited tremendously from capturing over 90% of productivity increases over the past thirty years toante up!