This week Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky were in Dublin for an event with the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, who gave a speech on How Much Is Enough? and the importance of addressing inequality and unemployment.
“An adequate economic discourse for the Europe of our grandchildren: Some thoughts on Robert and Edward Skidelsky’s book, How Much is Enough?”
Remarks by President Michael D. Higgins
At the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Dublin
Wednesday, 15th October, 2014
I am delighted to be here with you all at theContinue reading...
Where has the conference silly season left the debate on economic policy? George Osborne claims to have routed his critics: fiscal austerity has produced recovery. Labour, seemingly amazed that recovery has happened, has promised that a Labour government will continue to cut the deficit, albeit a little more slowly. The Liberal Democrats would join them in the slower lane. The main point of difference seems to be that “Labour cuts” will be fairer than “Tory cuts”.
The budget outcomes tell a different story. Osborne will have failed by a wide margin to meet his deficit-reduction targets in this parliament. The deficit is now likely to be more than £70bn in March 2015, when it should have been zero. This is a prima facie indication thatContinue reading...
| Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Since I believe that the Scots are sensible, I think that they will vote “no” this week to independence. But, whichever way the vote goes, the spectacular rise of nationalism, in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe, is a symptom of a diseased political mainstream.
Many are now convinced that the current way of organizing our affairs does not deserve such unquestioning allegiance; that the political system has closed down serious debate on economic and social alternatives; that banks and oligarchs rule; and that democracy is a sham. Nationalism promises an escape from the discipline of “sensible” alternatives that turn out to offer no alternative.
Nationalists can be divided into two main groups: those who genuinely believe thatContinue reading...
Endgame for Putin in Ukraine?
| Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Vladimir Putin may (or may not) enjoy 80% public support in Russia for his Ukraine policy; but it has become increasingly clear that he has bitten off more than he can chew. The question is: At what point will his position as President become untenable?
Leave to one side the moral and geopolitical background of the Ukraine imbroglio. Russians are justified, I believe, in their view that the West took advantage of Russia’s post-communist weakness to encroach on their country’s historic space. The Monroe Doctrine may be incompatible with contemporary international law; but all powers strong enough to enforce a strategic sphere of interest do so.
There is merit, I also believe, in Putin’s contention that a multipolar world is better thanContinue reading...
Europe’s Surplus of Stagnation
| Wednesday, July 23, 2014
While the rest of the world recovers from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, Europe is stagnating. Eurozone growth is expected to be 1.7% next year. What can be done about it?
One solution is a weaker euro. Earlier this month, the chief executive of Airbus called for drastic action to reduce the value of the euro against the dollar by about 10%, from a “crazy” $1.35 to between $1.20 and $1.25. The European Central Bank cut its deposit rates from 0 to -0.1%, effectively charging banks to keep money at the Central Bank. But these measures had little effect on foreign-exchange markets.
That is mainly because nothing is being done to boost aggregate demand. The United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan all increased their money supplyContinue reading...