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Michael Hudson (economist)

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You could say that GDP (National Income) and prosperity and wealth grows fastest when income tax rates are highest. And wealth slows, the economy slows, when taxes are cut. That's counter intuitive but if you look at any chart comparing tax rates and economic growth rates that's what you find. The 19th century knew it, the 18th century knew it but today you have a kind of counter revolution of junk economics that is basically anti-labor economics. - January 1, 2011

Michael Hudson (economist)

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Inflation is bad for growth—this has become one of the most widely accepted economic nostrums of our age. But see how you feel about it after digesting the following piece of information.
During the 1960s and the 1970s, Brazil’s average inflation rate was 42% a year. Despite this, Brazil was one of the fastest growing economies in the world for those two decades—its per capita income grew at 4.5% a year during this period. In contrast, between 1996 and 2005, during which time Brazil embraced the neo-liberal orthodoxy, especially in relation to macroeconomic policy, its inflation rate averaged a much lower 7.1% a year. But during this period, per capita income in Brazil grew at only 1.3% a year.
If you are not entirely persuaded by the Brazilian case—understandable, given that hyperinflation went side by side with low growth in the 1980s and the early 1990s—how about this? During its ‘miracle’ years, when its economy was growing at 7% a year in per capita terms, Korea had inflation rates close to 20%-17.4% in the 1960s and 19.8% in the 1970s. These were rates higher than those found in several Latin American countries ... Are you still convinced that inflation is incompatible with economic success?

Ha-Joon Chang

We have defined the main task of economic analysis as the explanation of the magnitudes of economic quantities. The student will find also that the main part of this, as of most other works on the subject, is concerned with the theory of the determination of prices, wages, interest rates, incomes, and the like. He may well inquire, therefore, in the midst of so much mathematics, whether the first task of economics is not the investigation of wealth, or welfare. Some economists have endeavored to restrict the boundaries of the science to the investigation of those quantities which are numerically measurable. Well-being, under such a restriction, would not be part of economics at all.

Kenneth Boulding

Economists can take a good deal of credit for the stabilization policies which have been followed in most Western countries since 1945 with considerable success. It is easy to generate a euphoric and self-congratulatory mood when one compares the twenty years after the first World War, 1919-39, with the twenty years after the second, 1945-65. The first twenty years were a total failure; the second twenty years, at least as far as economic policy is concerned, have been a modest success. We have not had any great depression; we have not had any serious financial collapse; and on the whole we have had much higher rates of development in most parts of the world than we had in the 1920’s and 1930’s, even though there are some conspicuous failures. Whether the unprecedented rates of economic growth of the last twenty years, for instance in Japan and Western Europe, can be attributed to economics, or whether they represent a combination of good luck in political decision making with the expanding impact of the natural and biological sciences on the economy, is something we might argue. I am inclined to attribute a good deal to good luck and non-economic forces, but not all of it, and even if economics only contributed 10 percent, this would amount to a very handsome rate of return indeed, considering the very small amount of resources we have really put into economics.

Kenneth Boulding

"One of the hackneyed liberal complaints goes something like this: 'Bush is the first president in history to cut taxes during a war.' Nonsense. Bush didn’t cut taxes; he cut tax rates across the board - on income, dividends and capital gains. And that’s precisely why tax revenues have soared. When a department store wants to make more money, it doesn’t raise its prices, it cuts them and announces a big sale. If you want more work and investment, you hold a sale on economic activity by cutting tax rates, thereby reducing the cost of productive activity and increasing the prospect of after-tax returns on work and investment."

Mike Rosen

If a Martian were asked to pick the most efficient and humane economic systems on earth, it would certainly not choose the countries which rely most on markets. The United States is a stagnant economy in which real wages have been constant for more than a decade and the real income of the bottom 40 percent of the population declined. It is an inhumane society in which 11.5 percent of the population, some 32 million people, including 20 percent of all children, live in absolute poverty. It is the oldest democracy on earth but also one with the lowest voting rates among democracies and the highest per capita prison population in the world. The fastest developing countries in the world today are among those where the state pursues active industrial and trade policies; the few countries in the world in which almost no one is poor today are those in which the state has been engaged in massive social welfare and labor market policies.

Adam Przeworski
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