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Economics of the 1% (Anthem Other Canon Economics) Paperback – January 20, 2014
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“Weeks shows how professional economists conceal the real workings of the capitalist economic system in the interests of the rich and powerful. They foster ignorance to flog a theory – a professional fraud – that justifies reaction. Frustration grips the page. […]Weeks’ ‘Economics of the 1%’ is a powerful indictment of the state of the contemporary economics profession.” —“Marx & Philosophy Review of Books”
‘In clear and straightforward language, [Weeks] unpacks the assumptions of mainstream economics in a bid to show how modern economists have inculcated in non-economists the erroneous belief that such theories are inspired by reality.’ ―Ioana Negru, ‘Times Higher Education’
“John F. Weeks has performed a big and important service. The economic dogma that sired the financial crash of 2008–9 and the longest recession for a century remains the dominant ideology, for lack of the coup de grace to consign it to oblivion. John F. Weeks sets about this task with a forthrightness and zeal akin to the biblical destruction of false prophets. This book should be read by all who seek the restoration of sanity in economics from the corrupting clutches of perhaps the biggest austerity hoax ever perpetrated.” ―Michael Meacher, British Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton
“Weeks’s dry and sarcastic style complements, and lightens, his deep analysis of the economic assumptions which many consider rational. […] his work has already played an extremely useful role helping us see and better understand some of the core economic truths we thought we knew.” ―Steve Rushton, Occupy.com
“Why do economic policies seem so impenetrable and confusing to most? Weeks provides a clear explanation for how the layperson can decipher them. Every concerned voter should read this book to be economically literate.” ―Peter Welch, US Congressman from Vermont and Chief Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives Democratic Caucus
“The recent crisis has exposed the weaknesses of not only the business models of the capitalist world but also the flaws in mainstream economic thought. John F. Weeks’ polemic on the ‘Economics of the 1%’ explores these intellectual blind alleys and takes no prisoners. Pointing out holes in the mainstream logic, Weeks aligns himself with the tradition(s) of Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes and Thorstein Veblen, and with such contemporaries as James K. Galbraith, Ha-Joon Chang and Paul Krugman. And Weeks is right. We have to replace ‘fakeconomics’ with proper economic analysis to combat the social inequalities that have grown disproportionately and dangerously in recent decades.” ―László Andor, Economist and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
“With barely concealed rage, excoriating analysis and unswerving clarity, Weeks dissects and exposes the myths and lies of the free-market propaganda upon which our current economic system is built. Eminently readable, ‘Economics of the 1%’ is a tour de force – a clarion call for a common-sense economics that serves us all, not just the rich and powerful.” ―Caroline Lucas, British MP for Brighton Pavilion and Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
This book exposes the myths of mainstream economics behind the public discourse and explains why current policies fail to serve the vast majority.
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He shows how austerity has failed miserably, and how the economics profession has been duped over the last few decades by the influence of the "Austrian school" of economics, and the politics of austerity. This study is very relevant to Paul Ryan's budget that was just released to the press, as it shows how once again the Republicans have no new plan for the economy, but simply rehash the "trickle down" theory of Reaganomics. He also demonstrates how Keynesian economics is still valid today, and could solve many of the economic problems that beset us. My only criticism is that he is often overly harsh, you might even say "brutish" in his commentary, and certainly does not even pretend to take an objective tone in his writing.
Voltaire (1694-1778), a well-known social critic and philosopher of the eighteenth century, who reportedly had also a cordial meeting with Adam Smith (1723-1790), once said “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord! make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.” John Weeks has a fortune of devoting nearly fifty years of his life to observe, inhale, and witness the absurdity of mainstream economics in our textbooks - from freshman to Ph.D. - and in public policy in practice. Thus, he is the de facto witness extraordinaire in this business. In my mind, the subject of John Weeks’s book, Economists of The 1%, is even more pitiful than the nagging pre-modern themes in Voltaire’s age.
Yet John Weeks is more blessed than Voltaire ever was in the view of the fact that the mainstream economics (and mainstream economists) is the subject of self-indictment by everyday life. Today the toxic ideology of mainstream theory is observable by naked eye just like the detection of “toxic assets” in Wall Street and the splendid swindle that has now taken us on the brink of Great Depression since 2007. But John Weeks is revealing a larger story, the story of fakery by “respectable” economists who appoint themselves to the task of perpetuating a fairytale model of economy and stripping the public of intellectual understanding before hitting them in the wallet en masse. He informs us in plain non-technical language that preachers of the mainstream economics, in the classroom or in Wall Street, are faking of the facts and masquerading rather shamelessly in the name of science. Weeks tells us that the mainstream economic ideology is hell-bent on promoting confusion in the interest the 1%, and that in the lexicon of absurd “free” or “freedom” denotes free to fake.
Finally, in this easy to read and easy to understand book, John Weeks - the economist of the 99% - carefully deciphers the secret behind all these fraudulent claims by mainstream (neoclassical) economics. In Economics of the 1%, he shows rather vividly why should we take control of our economics education in order to recognize the difference between the real and fake, particularly “fakonomics,” dished out and bulletproof by peddlers of polarization and captains of economic upheaval in our society and our classrooms. To know how highly I recommend this book: I wish to urge you to refrain from reading (or purchasing) any of my own books (please) until you read this book in its entirety – I mean it!
Cyrus Bina, Ph.D.
Distinguished Research Professor of Economics
University of Minnesota, USA
Elected Fellow, Economists for Peace and Security
Author of most recently A Prelude to the Foundation of Political Economy: Oil, War, and Global Polity (2013)