Economics of the 1%
How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy
About This Book
“Weeks shows how professional economists conceal the real workings of the capitalist economic system in the interests of the rich and powerful. They foster ignorance to flog a theory – a professional fraud – that justifies reaction. Frustration grips the page. […]Weeks’ ‘Economics of the 1%’ is a powerful indictment of the state of the contemporary economics profession.” —“Marx & Philosophy Review of Books”
‘In clear and straightforward language, [Weeks] unpacks the assumptions of mainstream economics in a bid to show how modern economists have inculcated in non-economists the erroneous belief that such theories are inspired by reality.’ —Ioana Negru, ‘Times Higher Education’
“Why do economic policies seem so impenetrable and confusing to most? Weeks provides a clear explanation for how the layperson can decipher them. Every concerned voter should read this book to be economically literate.” —Peter Welch, US Congressman from Vermont and Chief Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives Democratic Caucus
Today’s ‘doctrine of choice’ assures adults that they are competent to make serious personal decisions about healthcare, education and retirement plans. At the same time, most people are convinced that they are so ignorant of economics that they are not capable of holding an informed opinion, and that economic issues must be left to experts. The so-called experts of the mainstream economics profession claim to have profound, inaccessible knowledge; in fact they understand little and obscure almost everything.
Understanding the economy is not simple, but it is no more complicated than understanding the political system sufficiently to cast a vote. In straightforward language, John F. Weeks exposes the myths of mainstream economics and explains why current economic policies fail to serve the vast majority of people in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. He demonstrates that austerity policies have little theoretical basis and achieve nothing but inequality and misery. He goes on to explain how the current deficit and debt ‘crises’ in the United States and Europe are ideologically manufactured, unnecessary and simple to overcome. Drawing on examples from around the world, this book provides a bold alternative to the economics of the 1%. Their failure to serve the interests of the many results from their devoted service to the few.
John F. Weeks is professor emeritus of economics at SOAS, University of London, and has advised numerous governments and international organizations over the past forty years.
Table of Contents
Preface: Doctor Bob’s Third Law; Introduction: Economic Ignorance; Chapter 1: Fakeconomics and Economics; Chapter 2: Market Worship; Chapter 3: Finance and Criminality; Chapter 4: Selling Market Myths; Chapter 5: Riches, “Sovereignty” and “Free Trade”; Chapter 6: Lies about Government; Chapter 7: Deficit Disorders and Debt Delirium; Chapter 8: Governments Cause Inflation?; Chapter 9: Institutionalized Misery: Austerity in Practice; Chapter 10: Economics of the 99%