Economics of the 1%
How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy
About This Book
“John F. Weeks has performed a big and important service. The economic dogma that sired the financial crash of 2008–9 and the longest recession for a century remains the dominant ideology, for lack of the coup de grace to consign it to oblivion. John F. Weeks sets about this task with a forthrightness and zeal akin to the biblical destruction of false prophets. This book should be read by all who seek the restoration of sanity in economics from the corrupting clutches of perhaps the biggest austerity hoax ever perpetrated.” —Michael Meacher, British Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton
“Weeks’s dry and sarcastic style complements, and lightens, his deep analysis of the economic assumptions which many consider rational. […] his work has already played an extremely useful role helping us see and better understand some of the core economic truths we thought we knew.” —Steve Rushton, Occupy.com
“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 Weeks, an American living in London, is professor emeritus of economics at SOAS, University of London. He has advised numerous governments and written and commented widely on economic and social issues in the United States, Europe and developing regions.
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%