How much do economists really know? In most cases, they claim to have profound knowledge but in fact understand little and obscure almost everything. This book exposes the myths of mainstream economics and explains why current policies fail to serve the interests of the vast majority of people in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. Instead, they serve the few, increasing inequality and poverty.

Paperback, 246 Pages

ISBN:9780857281081

January 2014

£13.99, $19.95

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

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.

Reviews

“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’

“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

“The recent crisis has exposed the weaknesses of not only the business models of the capitalist world but also the flaws in mainstream economic thought. John F. Weeks’ polemic on the ‘Economics of the 1%’ explores these intellectual blind alleys and takes no prisoners. Pointing out holes in the mainstream logic, Weeks aligns himself with the tradition(s) of Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes and Thorstein Veblen, and with such contemporaries as James K. Galbraith, Ha-Joon Chang and Paul Krugman. And Weeks is right. We have to replace ‘fakeconomics’ with proper economic analysis to combat the social inequalities that have grown disproportionately and dangerously in recent decades.” —László Andor, Economist and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

“With barely concealed rage, excoriating analysis and unswerving clarity, Weeks dissects and exposes the myths and lies of the free-market propaganda upon which our current economic system is built. Eminently readable, ‘Economics of the 1%’ is a tour de force – a clarion call for a common-sense economics that serves us all, not just the rich and powerful.” —Caroline Lucas, British MP for Brighton Pavilion and Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales

Author Information

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.

Series

Anthem Other Canon Economics

Anthem Frontiers of Global Political Economy and Development

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%

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