You an Activist? Interested in Economics?

A few months back I was invited to a meeting of folk who are interested in finding out more about the kind of economic approaches that can support activists. I went along – well, I joined the zoom meeting – and listened in. Most of the people attending were environmental activists, though there were a few independence activists, and some were both.

Since then, the group has organised a series of zoom meetings with economists of various persuasions –

Richard Murphy is a British chartered accountant and political economist who campaigns on issues of tax avoidance and tax evasion. He advises the Trades Union Congress on economics and taxation, and is a long-standing member of the Tax Justice Network. He runs the Tax Research blog and is a supporter of Scottish independence.

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Laurie Macfarlane is Economics Editor at openDemocracy and Head of Finance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Prior to this Laurie was Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation. He is the co-author of ​‘Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing’, which was listed by Financial Times as one of the best economics books of 2017.

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Beth Stratford is a political economist, a fellow at the New Economics Foundation, and a co-founder of the London Renters Union. She is currently finishing a PhD at the University of Leeds on the theory of economic rent, and the critical importance of diffusing rentier power as we move into a resource constrained (and growth constrained) future. She lectures at MSc level on the case for overhauling our housing, land and monetary systems, and has a background working as a campaigner on climate change and financial reform. She talks about the debates on green growth, de-growth, decoupling and how we might manage our economy within environmental limits. Along the way she explains how debt, inequality and rent extraction contribute to our current system’s need for growth.

Michael Roberts worked in the City of London as an economist for over 40 years. Since retiring, he has written several books.  The Great Recession – a Marxist view (2009); The Long Depression (2016); Marx 200: a review of Marx’s economics (2018): and jointly with Guglielmo Carchedi as editors of World in Crisis (2018). In this Economics for Activists session Michael Roberts explains that the pursuit of profit from the exploitation of labour is at the core of how the economy works. He shows how that leads to results which we don’t want, like inequality, environmental destruction and over-work.

Click on the image below to go the Economics for Activists YouTube Channel where you’ll find the videos in the series.

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