I am travelling for the better part of Monday – so no detailed blog. Just a few snippets to keep things going. I will compile a report on Finland at some point soon once I reflect more on what I have learned in the last week while being here. It has been a very instructive time even though every time one steps out doors the brain freezes (as well as the body). The blog will return on Tuesday (Australian time).
One soon down, several more to go
There was a report in the UK Guardian (October 10, 2015) – Independent Scottish fiscal studies body faces closure as funds dry up – that discussed the impending closure of ‘Fiscal Affairs Scotland’, which is allegedly “one of the country’s only independent financial monitoring bodies”.
Apparently it has run out of money.
Its status as independent just means it is not part of government. The more important meaning of independence as far as I am concerned is that the framework used by an institution is free from the neo-liberal mainstream macroeconomics myths about currency-issuing governments.
Fiscal Affairs Scotland is not at all independent in that sense. Its approach is deeply entrenched in the mainstream framework that considers fiscal rules constraining deficits to be sound and responsible practice.
It fails to discuss or reveal any understanding that fiscal targets cannot be set in stone and that the performance of government cannot be judged against some arbitrary benchmarks like a balanced fiscal position or some medium-term debt ratio.
I have never read anything from that body that sets out a framework that government fiscal performance should be judged exclusively in terms of how it advances the well-being of the people the government serves.
So in that sense, good riddance. One soon down, but oh so many more left to die.
Eurozone Dystopia Book Launch, Maastricht, August 31, 2015
The quality of the footage and sound is less than perfect and at some point the camera tips for a moment but the video records the two presentations from the guest speakers and my thank you for their participation.
The event was hosted at Maastricht University, which was fitting giving the Eurozone mess formally began there. I also have close ties to the Economics Department there.
The MC was Professor Joan Muysken.
The speakers (in order of appearance) were:
1. Dr László Andor, former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
2. Professor Arjo Klamer, Erasmus University, Rotterdam.
The video goes for 1 hour and 39 minutes.
I was listening to this morning before I flew. I thought it was good – given I am going back to a warm Spring after ‘flying high’.
Nina Simone, incomparable. This is of the 1965 album – I put a spell on you – a song originally written for the 1964 Broadway production of – The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd.
The whole album is fabulous.
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2015 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.