December 2015

10 economic myths that we need to junk

Does repeating a thing make it true? The followers of mainstream economic dogma must surely think 'Yes'. After the financial crash of 2008 and the malaise ever since, they haven't changed their tune much. Their prescriptions don't work but the patients - you or me - are still being dosed with 'freemarket' medicine. We've worked on this edition in the spirit of providing something of an antidote. The economic bottom line is inevitable, say the powers that be. Just the way things are. Well, we - and an ever-growing legion of dissenting economists and fed-up-to-the-back-teeth members of the general public - say, 'No'. These cherished myths are causing real harm and we need to ditch them.







Stories making the news this month
6 Colombia: is the FARC peace deal something to celebrate?
6 UN peacekeepers in disgrace
7 Mapuche refuse fracking in Argentina
7 Introducing Justin Trudeau
7 Saudi rights defenders, really?
8 Holding the line against ISIS in Iraq
8 In search of lost Indian soldiers
9 Good reasons to run from the Gambia
9 Wolves and boars galore in Chernobyl
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone and Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Big Story -
10 Economic Myths
11 Austerity - will it eventually bring about prosperity?

13 Deficit reduction - the only way out of a slump?

14 Taxing the rich - does it scare off investors?

16 Economic migrants - are they a burden?

18 VISUAL 'I predict...' When economists got it all wrong.

19 The private sector - more efficient than the private sector?

21 Fossil fuels - are they really cheaper than renewables?

22 Financial regulation - will it spell doom for banking?

24 Organized labour - is it regressive?

25 Debt - must it always be repaid?

26 Growth - the be all and end all?

Mixed Media
32 Film reviews
Carol, directed by Todd Haynes; The Lesson, directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov.

33 Music reviews
From Sacred to Secular by Various artists; Impredecible by Bareto.

34 Book reviews
Nocilla Dream by Augustin Fernandez Mallo; A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz by Goran Rosenberg; Smart Citizens, Smarter State by Beth Simone Noveck.

PLUS Also out there… including books on ISIS

31 Steve Parry
In the eye of a Twitter storm.
PLUS: Polyp's Big Bad World cartoon.

37 Mark Engler
#ShellNo: the triumph of the Kayaktivists

4 Letters
Women-only spaces; White Helmets; and surburban squeeze.

5 Letter from Bangui
Ruby Diamonde dines with a man on a mission to wake up his people.

28 Country Profile: North Korea

30 Southern Exposure
Karel Prinsloo photographs a patient vendor in Kenya's Kibera slum.

36 Puzzle Page
PLUS: Marc Roberts' Only Planet cartoon.

38 And Finally
The system is rigged, but it can be changed, US-Iranian film director Ramin Bahrani tells Malcolm Lewis.




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