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!)

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  • There must be a lot of people on this site on their payroll!

    “[European] Parliament’s institutional communicators must have the ability to monitor public conversation and sentiment on the ground and in real time, to understand ‘trending topics’ and have the capacity to react quickly, in a targeted and relevant manner, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths. Particular attention needs to be paid to the countries that have experienced a surge in Euroscepticism.”

    • Is that your last defense of gold buggyism? Making up and inverting a meaninig of such news in order to defend your false ideology? “Oh they all trolls, i do not have to check my views against reality” is that how you think?

      “to subvert online Eurosceptic debate” this means opposite of what you claim here. They are not paying eurosceptics, they are paying trolls to ATTACK eurosceptics, that is what subverting means.
      And we are not trying to destroy EU, we are trying to cure ailments of monetay systems that is bound to collapse unless is changed to proper one that can last and be selfsustained.

      Check against reality. We are trying to preserve EU but only in a way that can be sustained. As it is set up as Gold Standard (which you believe is needed but which it actualy is) monetary system, it can not be sustained. Most of the world figured that out in 1933, that GS is unsustainable in long run, only in very short run.

      You live in a paradigm that is opposite of the reality.

    • Yet I haven’t seen a SINGLE person here defending the EU in its CURRENT form.
      Keep hunting wind mills like don quijote.What a fool.

    • @Crossover
      Whoever demands lowering of public debt, when no other country ever does that, is demanding upholding of present accounting form of EU. So whoever enforces the current EU form that demands austerity, which is what EU is demanding now IS DEFENDING current form.
      Unsustainable accounting of the current EU form is still being defended by those gold bugs and they base their solutions on that form. Since they do not want to change gold bug thinking, they think that only solution is to destroy the EZ. While the possible solution is change of gold bug thinking, which will provide beneficial outcome.

      And the world needs EU. The world can not feed 9B people if there is 200 countries, but it can if there is only 100. Think Economies of scale. With less division in the world there will be better efficiencies in distribution of food, clean air and clean water, less waste.
      I argue that with only 10 divisions/ countries in the world, the earth could sustain 15 Bilion, not only 8 as today and barely can sustain 8 B because of divisions and ineficiencies of the scale. Think China, USA, Russia, so think EU. It is much efficient to have 1 USA then 50 different sovereign states in terms of food distribution and organizing to solve the problems.

    • Hey Jordon, if you do not have socialism you do not need a central government or silly central planners to “think about food distributution”. The market (=the People) will solve it.