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A new fair economy vs. neoliberal capitalism

An outstanding new analysis has just been published a few weeks ago by a group of experts under the title ‘Sharing the World Resources’. It is detailed in argument and well-documented, but neither a political manifesto nor an academic utopia. It is rather a depth examination of money flows in a world increasingly out of control and hijacked by the 1% who have imposed the neoliberal capitalist ideology both in their own countries and across the world.

All of their recommendations will only be achieved after intense struggle, but the great merit of this analysis is that it quantifies the scale of what is currently wrong and spells out the spectrum of change that could be achieved if these colossal money flows could be re-directed. Here are some of their proposals, none of them particularly new, but calibrating for the first time the capacity for fundamental change.

  • Since speculation in financial markets serves mainly investment banks, traders and hedge funds whilst destabilising the global economy, a financial transaction tax could raise as much as $650bn a year if implemented globally, enough to tackle world poverty, reverse austerity measures and address climate change.
  • Fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change and carbon emissions reached a record high last year. If biofuel and fossil fuel subsidies were progressively phased out by 2020, governments worldwide would save $530bn, enough to secure universal access to energy and to provide a major boost to renewables globally.
  • Clamping down on the use of tax havens (many of them under the control of the UK government) by super-rich individuals worldwide could raise $189bn a year, and preventing multinational corporations from using trade mispricing and false invoicing to artificially boost profits could secure an additional $160bn annually for developing countries.
  • Agricultural subsidies are a foremost example how governments support an environmentally destructive and socially unjust model of agriculture and trade. Re-directing these perverse subsidies, which cost some $187bn a year, would go a long way to tackle the global food crisis, reduce hunger and protect the environment.
  • Taxing carbon emissions could be far more effective than inefficient and often counter-productive carbon trading schemes, and could raise $108bn a year.
  • Developing countries are indebted at over $4 trillion and spend more than $1.4bn every day repaying those debts – 5 times more than they receive in aid. Cancelling illegitimate ‘dictator debts’ alone, currently estimated at $735bn, could free up $81bn a year for spending on social welfare and public services.
  • Military spending by governments worldwide has risen by more than 50% since 2001 and reached $1.7 trillion a year in 2011, equivalent to $250 annually for each person in the world. Diverting only a quarter of current global military expenditure would free up $435bn a year instead to save lives, prevent extreme deprivation and strengthen UN peacekeeping.

One Comment

  1. Bernard Strongarm says:

    `1. Since speculation in financial markets serves mainly investment banks, traders and hedge funds whilst destabilising the global economy, a financial transaction tax could raise as much as $650bn a year if implemented globally, enough to tackle world poverty, reverse austerity measures and address climate change. ‘

    If financial speculation solved the problem of world poverty bankers, traders and hedge funds would stop doing it. All this tax would do is turn us all into specularots in the lives and labours of the workers and children of the third world. Should our health and education be dependent on the immiseration of others?

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