1. We are pleased to announce that the new edition of the Heterodox Economics Directory has been published. You can download the Directory (in pdf) or visit a new website for the Directory: http://heterodoxnews.com/hed. This new edition includes nine chapters;
- Introduction to Heterodox Economics
- 100 Words on Heterodox Economics
- Heterodox Graduate Programs–Ph.D. and Master’s
- Heterodox Undergraduate Programs
- Heterodox Journals
- Heterodox Associations, Institutes, Blogs, and Other Websites
- Publishers and Heterodox Book Series
- Major Works on Heterodox Economics since 2000
- Rankings of Heterodox Schools and Journals
On the website you will also find the collection of book/article reviews published in the various issues of the Heterodox Economics Newsletter.
2. Dr. Michael Marien, the Director of the Global Foresight Books (GlobalForesightBooks.org), has kindly sent us a very interesting biblio-essay, ”New and Appropriate Economics for the 21st Century: A Survey of Critical Books, 1978-2013.” In this essay, you will find a number of heterodox books in six categories–1) General Critiques, 2) Ecological Economics, 3) Scientific and Global Organizations, 4) Textbooks Supporting a Broader View, 5) Alternative Labels: Heterodox, Post-Keynesian, etc., and 6) What Must Really Be Done. The purpose of this essay is, to quote Michael Marien, ”to hasten the transition [from the outmoded paradigm to an economics appropriate to the 21st century] by pointing to the growing flood of critiques, and who wrote what and when.”
3. In the US, we appear to be reaching a defining moment with respect to the political economy of fiscal policy. While president Obama was successful in raising the top marginal tax rate back to the Clinton-era level, we now face (what may be) the more important battle, decisions over future spending and funding of public programs. There are really two important battles here: the equity battle to save and preserve programs that support the middle and lower classes like Social Security and Medicare; and the efficiency battle, that government deficits are not inherently bad, rather, under most conditions, they promote private sector growth. Progressive heterodox economists need to engage in these battles at all levels.
As a result of the global economic crisis, a growing number of heterodox economists are receiving greater media attention, and progressive heterodox economics blogs have played an important part in helping generate the increased attention (in fact, the trillion dollar platinum coin idea was essentially promoted through heterodox blogs–see below). In addition, the transformation of Paul Krugman has been a significant help for the promotion of heterodox ideas via his blog and New York Times editorials. However, it’s not enough; the stakes are too high.
What else can we do? Write letters or editorials to your local newspapers or alternative press publications; engage in online discussions/debates at all levels (all print media have equivalent online sites that provide comments and discussions); organize panel discussions that are open and targeted to the public; and use these opportunities to recommend progressive hetecon resources, many of which can be found in our Newsletter and Heterodox Economics Directory. Some suggested resources:
- On Social Security and Medicare: Dean Baker’s Center for Public Policy Research
- On deficits: the Levy Institute and their blog the multiplier effect; UMKC’s NewEconomicsPerspectives blog.
- On a financial transactions tax and cutting defense spending: UMASS’s Political Economy Research Institute or their associated blog (with GDAE) Triple Crisis.
- On the debt ceiling and platinum coin idea: Yves Smith’s blog Naked Capitalism or NewEconomicPerspectives.
- For a very interesting historical perspective and overview of the current austerity debate, see Michael Hudson’s piece America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff.
The majority of Americans support Social Security and Medicare, but they are being bombarded by the forces who push austerity for their own interests. Unfortunately these voices are coming from both political parties. The general public needs (and wants) to understand that there are alternatives, and it is up to progressive heterodox economists to provide them with that understanding.
Tae-Hee Jo and Ted P. Schmidt, Editors