by Steve Tuckner (Comm/Tech Committee)
Europe is falling apart. First there was Brexit. Next it might be Italexit or Frexit. Country by country the far right has captured the imagination of the voters because national governments have abdicated their economic policy to an unelected European elite. In an attempt to pull Europe back from the breach, a new organization has been formed called Diem25. It was formed February 9th, 2017 by the former Greek finance minister Yaris Varoufakis and Sreko Horvat, the Croatian philosopher, author and political activist. They got to work right away with others to develop a European New Deal to address the crisis that is enveloping Europe. Today, they introduced the European New Deal to Italy in Rome on 60th anniversary of the beginnings of the European Union in the Treaty of Rome on March 25, 1957. The European new deal is both specific to Europe and full of ideas that have applicability in the United States.
It calls for a Basic Goods Provision so that people who are losing their jobs to automation or international competition are not left bereft of ways to support themselves. I just read that 1/3 of jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years. That is a massive upheaval that we have no plans to deal with.
It calls for turning wealth into investment, by investing idle capital into things that green our economy. This is a major plank of the Our Revolution platform, a green new deal. Corporations have record amounts of capital on their balance sheets that are sitting idle instead of being spent on productive investments to improve the world we live in.
It calls for Sharing the returns of capital. As they say: “capital goods are increasingly produced collectively but their returns continue to be privatized”. Since the 2008 crash, 90% of the productivity gains have gone to the 1%. Our system of capital accumulation is totally broken. It is currently a elevator of wealth upward.
It calls for Democratic macroeconomic management. For too long we have outsourced our investment decisions to private actors who, according to the “invisible hand” were supposed to magically help us all. In Europe it is the ECB and the Euro Group. In the US it is the Federal Reserve. It doesn’t have to be this way. According to Diem25, “Europe’s economies are stagnating because for too long macroeconomic management has been subcontracted to unaccountable ‘technocrats’. It is high time that macroeconomic management is democratised fully and placed under the scrutiny of sovereign peoples.” In the US, perhaps it is time to take the control of Federal Reserve so that the created fiat money is not only lent to banks but created an given directly to people to use for productive uses as Mary Melor advocates in Debt or Democracy, Public Money for Sustainability and Social Justice.
It is important to not just see our situation in the US as isolated from the rest of the world, but as part of a global struggle for justice for ordinary people. Check out Diem25 and their European New Deal.
NOTE: These are the views of the author alone and do not reflect the views of Our Revolution MN