Links for the w/e 13.04.14

Just a few links to share this week. First up, Brian Romanchuk gives us a primer on functional finance as proposed by the economist Abba Lerner, which is an alternative approach to government finances:

Primer: What Is Functional Finance?

Next, here’s Bill Black comparing and contrasting two Nobel economics prize winners:

Nobel Schizophrenia over the Georges: Stigler and Akerlof

And here’s a nice interview with economist Ha-Joon Chang:

Ha-Joon Chang: Economics Is A Political Argument

Over in Ireland, it seems some discussion of a full job guarantee may be starting to take place:

Joan Burton wants a job guarantee for everyone on the dole

And to end, because this is a short list this week, we finish with Chris Dillow writing:

In praise of brevity

 

Poverty porn, appealing the Bedroom Tax and how to rob a bank

The BBC aired another documentary from the ‘poverty porn’ genre this week, where Boris Johnson’s sister, someone off Eastenders, a posh bloke and Theo Paphitis dropped in on people struggling in today’s ‘cost of living crisis’. Here’s two blog posts on issues raised by this show (and others like it):

The Rationale behind Poverty Street Media?

When political issues are reduced to acts of charity

Joe Halewood has been blogging tirelessly on the bedroom tax for months now, and in this post he demonstrates how easy it could be to appeal the bedroom tax:

How to appeal and strangle the bedroom tax – 5 minutes (and you’re almost there!)

For a long time now, it’s been very clear that Jobcentre Plus is no longer worthy of the name. It’s whole operation is now about sanctioning as many people as possible. This blog describes how they may be going beyond what the law allows in their zeal to get people of benefits:

Most jobseeker agreements ruled unlawful – and the DWP doesn’t care

This is a good lay man’s guide to the Ukraine situation:

What Is Going On In Ukraine? An Explanation For the Confused

And here, Neil Wilson blogs on what should happen with the national debt should Scotland vote for independence:

Scottish Independence Myths – The National Debt

In this post, Peter Martin, explains why talk of the need for austerity for years to come is based on ‘muddled thinking’:

Muddled Thinking Watch #1 “We will need decades of austerity not years” writes Philip Booth

Here’s a nice video of a talk by the great Bill Black, explaining “How to rob a bank”.

Finally, yesterday we got the sad news that Tony Benn had passed away at the age of 88. I was excited to go and see him speak a couple of years ago. He was getting frail then, but still in fine form. This 10 minute video is a great reminder that on most things, he was right: