The contested details of the latest proposals from the UK Chancellor are only partly illustrative of the momentous economic challenge that lies behind and beyond the Budget, says Simon Barrow. Right now the entire system based at Westminster is failing adequately to comprehend and address, let alone tackle, the really big issues in which economics is a major factor.
It's time to talk about, and talk up, monetary reform – to ensure that the public good that is our money system once again serves the interests of wider society, not just those of private wealth. So says groundbreaking political economist Ann Pettifor, whose new book 'Just Money' demystifies the nature of money and the finance system, showing how and why it needs to be reconstructed.
The arrival of Ann Pettifor's latest book, 'Just Money: How society can break the despotic power of finance' is an important publishing moment, says Ekklesia co-director Simon Barrow. It unmasks the false ideologies of austerity and neoliberalism.
In his book The Great Tax Robbery, Richard Brooks notes that "the institutions that shape the tax system have been captured by the tax industry and corporate interests. Policy is determined through committees and consultation processes in which the tax avoidance industry’s representatives dominate, before being nodded through by parliament without proper debate. This cosy cartel urgently needs dismantling," he declares. Wendy Bradley argues that replacing recently resigned David Heaton with someone on the General Anti Abuse advisory panel (GAAR) who represents ordinary people rather than the tax wizards would be a good place to start.
The grim facts of environmental degradation are causing worldwide economic loss and that means greater poverty and health problems, says Fr Shay Cullen, focusing on the ecological and financial cost of coal, and upon the impact on East Asia. Time and again short term benefits are mostly for the rich while the environmental damage hurts the poor, he says, citing a report commissioned by the G8 and the United Nation's Environmental Programme.