Austerity as a destabilising assault on the New Deal institutions: A joint presentation by J.K. Galbraith & Y. Varoufakis (video)

A debate involving James K. Galbraith, Yanis Varoufakis and Jeff Sommers (in the role of moderator) took place on 24th February at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in the context of the George Kennan Distinguished Lecture Series. An amateurish recording is available here. For ease of ‘navigation’, a list of topics (with their location on the recording’s timeline) is presented below.

  1. During the first few minutes, J. Galbraith talks about George Kennan (given that the occasion was The Distinguished George Kennan Lecture Series).
  2. Then for forty minutes Y. Varoufakis and J. Galbraith discuss austerity: its intellectual and historical roots, the political motivation driving it in the US and in Europe and the general state of play in the US and Europe (including an intervention from Jeff Sommers on the Latvian experiment with austerity).
  3. Starting at around 47′ we discuss  minimum wages , presenting the microeconomic, macroeconomic and social importance of raising minimum wages to a level that they can sustain a decent life – plus a rejoinder to the false claim that higher minimum wages will depress employment. 
  4. From 58’30” to the end, a discussion with the audience ensues (questions are not clearly audible – but our answers are!)