Poli 489 AB Spring summer term,Tuesday and Thursday 1:15-4:00 p.m.
Prof. Harold Chorney. Office hours:Tuesday and Thursday 4:30-5:45 pm
This course is a seminar course organized around the debate that has been taking place over the apparent dramatic rise in in equality in western oriented market capitalist countries ever since the collapse of the property speculative bubble in 2007 to 2009 and the resulting market crash.
The real estate bubble and the crash of 2007 -09 uncovered serious strains in the economic and social fabric of global capitalism. The recovery from what turned out to be the most serious recession since the great depression of the 1930s has been slower than hoped for and very uneven. In North America largely because the Fed reinforced the Keynesian fiscal stimulus with significant quantitative easing thereby ensuring appropriately low interest rates, the performance of the recovery has been more solid than in Europe where the European central bank and the European Union have both retarded the recovery by refusing until quite recently to use quantitative easing and stressing fiscal austerity rather than Keynesian policies. As a consequence European unemployment is still very high in a number of countries and Europe appeared for several years to be teetering on the edge of deflation and stagnation. But in addition to these negative features of the recovery, the crash and slow recovery laid bare the terrible and widening gap in socio-economic inequality as well as growing poverty in many countries. This course will focus on the issue of inequality and equity in a number of leading global economies in an effort to document the problem, analyse emerging trends and evaluate policy proposals and programs designed to counter it.It will also broaden the scope of the debate by looking at the structural basis of inequality in developing countries and the political economy of contemporary market capitalism.
Texts: Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st century , 2014 The Belknap press of Harvard University, 2014 also available in the original French edition Le capital au XXIe siècle editions du Seuil.
Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of inequality, Norton, 2013.
Robert Reich, Saving Capitalism For the Many, Not the Few, 2015:Alfred Knopf.
Michael Savage, Tipping Point :Richest 1 % on target to own 67% of all wealth by 2030.April 8, The Guardian 2018.
John McMurtry, Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System
Dana Flavelle, Canada’s inequality growing, Stats Can Toronto Star, Sept.11, 2014.
Peter Clarke, Keynes:the Rise, Fall and Return of the 20th Century’s Most Influential Economist
Joeseph Stiglitz interview with Lynn Parramore in Salon magazine.
Meghnad Desai, Marx’s Revenge:The Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism, Verso. 2004.
Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom, Anchor books, NYC, 1999.,
Ethan Kapstein, Sharing the Wealth,W.W. Norton, 1999.
Frank Stilwell, Political Economy:the Contest of Economic ideas, Oxford University Press, 2012.
John Kenneth Galbraith, The Economics of Innocent Fraud,Houghton Miflin,Boston&NYC, 2004
Helen Sasson, Between Friends, Perspectives on John Kenneth Galbraith Essays by Derek Bok, Carlos Fuentes, Peter Galbraith et al, Houghton Miflin , 1999.
James Galbraith, Created Unequal:The Crisis in American Pay,Twentieth Century fund, The Free Press,Simon&Schuster, 1999.
Samuel Hollander, Classical Economics,University of Toronto Press, 1992.
Alvin Finkel, Our Lives:Canada after 1945, James Lorimer&Company, 1997.
Robert Heilbroner, The Worldly Philosophers,Simon%Schuster, NYC, revised edition 1965.
Between Capitalism and Socialism:Essays in Political economics, Vintage,Random House, 1970
Robert Lekachman, Greed is Not Enough, Pantheon, NYC, 1982.
John Porter, The Vertical Mosaic, University of Toronto Press
Wallace Clement The Canadian Corporate Elite
A.A. Hunter, Class Tells:On Social Inequality in Canada, 1986
David Harvey, Limits to Capital,Verso, 2006.
Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class,Macmillan, 1912,Mentor edition 1953.
C.W. Mills, Power,politics and People
Steve Keen,Debunking Economics , Zed books, U.K.2001,London&NYC.
H.Bougrine & Mario Seccareccia eds. Introducing Macroeconomic analysis,Edmund Montgomery, Toronto, 2010.
Adam Harmes, The Return of the State, Protestors, Power Brokers and the New Global Compromise, Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver&Toronto, 2004.
Tony Cutler, Karel Williams&John Williams, Keynes, Beveridge and beyond, Routledge&Kegan Paul,London&NYC, 1986.
Brishen Rogers et al, Work Inequality Basic Income Boston Review forum 2, 2017
Students will be asked to consult the quality and financial press including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, the Guardian The New York Times and the Globe and Mail , Le Monde ,Le figaro, Liberation various issues and weekly during the course for relevant articles to the discussion.
Each student will required to present a topic in class in combination with one other student 20 % and make available a short 2-3 page synopsis of the presentation to all students and to me. Complete a term essay 40 % and write a final test 40 %.
Course weekly topics:
1.Introduction and overview:
2.The ethical basis of Democracy and markets :Flaws at inception.R.H.Tawney and the Acquisitive society.C.B. Macpherson, Hobbes, Locke, Bentham and Mill, Arrow, Debreau and Sraffa, Marx’s critique.
3. Keynes, full employment and the Beveridge Welfare state.the neo-conservative epoch and the return of inequality.
4.The crash and the sudden growth of inequality as an issue.
5. From Veblen to Keynes to C.W.Mills to J.K.Galbraith; James Galbraith.
6. Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz
7. Piketty and Stiglitz continued Robert Reich
8 .Reich, Piketty and Stiglitz continued
9. The Canadian case an exception? Innis, Porter, Clement, Hunter,John Macionis global inequality; The American case :Michael Hout, Inequality by Design.
10. Marx, Ricardo,Malthus Keynes and the distribution question in age of globalization
11. Distribution and development :Amartya Sen
12. Distribution and the environment, carbon taxes, stable states, guaranteed annual incomes, GDP and trade issues.
13. Review and conclusion.
Term essay: The term essay worth 40 % should be free of grammatical error footnoted or end noted with a bibliography and be 9- 12 pages in length. It will be due in the second week of June. Topics to be announced later.
I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.