Economic ‘experts’ from the mainstream media act as though crony capitalism is the only game in town

THE ISSUE

We always need to be sceptical of the mainstream media, but arguably the area where we need to be more so than any other is that of economics.

THE MEDIA

Article by Dean Baker in Center for Econopic Policy and Research on February 21, 2018

It Wasn’t the Market that Made Elites Incredibly Rich, It was Elites Rigging the Market to Make Themselves Incredibly Rich

None of the rules we have in place that redistribute upward were given to us by the market. They were the result of deliberate economic policy.

THE COMMENT

When legislation is passed that cuts corporate taxes it is chiselled into concrete, yet when it redistributes wealth among the lower classes it is written on tissue paper.

The reason that quote is rather clunky is that it’s mine, and I’m far from a qualified economist, but FWIW I reckon the #AppleTax issue and way the Irish government protects its corporate tax rate are at the forefront of a status quo that is generally accepted as ‘untouchable’ and similar thinking exists in other western countries.

For that reason Baker’s quote from his article is what inspired me to write this post, but the wider point is that when it comes to economics we have to look beyond what the ‘experts’ put forward by the mainstream media say, and that is where the internet comes in.

I’m not saying we have to agree with the thoughts of people like Richard Wolf, but if we are to have a full discussion on any topic it seems a no-brainer to at least discuss the alternatives and even a massive crash like that we experienced ten years ago wasn’t enough to have us wondering if  allowing the top corporate players to run the economy wasn’t the best idea. Since then elected representatives who dare to oppose austerity are virtual outcasts both in the Dáil and in media coverage of same.

So that’s my point…but if you’re on for getting more specific, check out this Op-ed in the NYT and then read Baker’s reply.

While Economics is an academic field in its own right, there’s no reason why we the voters can’t educate ourselves to a decent standard on it once we know where to look, and more importantly, where to be sceptical.  JLP

#IANWAE

Just two things to say about the Irish budget 2016

  1. The mainstream media in general seems more concerned with who gets an extra fiver than they do with the fact that this is essentially a coalition budget between Fianna Gael and Fine Fáil.  (Not a typo)

  2. Whatever about the Lansdowne Road Agreement I cannot wrap my head around the fact that nobody is talking about a protest march surrounding the fact that the politicians are getting a pay rise.  Here at FPP, not only do we think they are morally obliged to waive it, no TD who supports it should receive any political capital for doing so.  It’s like showing up to work on time…you shouldn’t get credit for something that everyone expects of you.

We haven’t been posting as often of late.  We hope to get back to our post-a-day schedule soon.

Claire Byrne skewers Richard Bruton with question tying #AppleTax to #Right2Water

Earlier today we commented on the general mainstream media and how they fail to provide proper balance and ask the right questions.  It is only fair that we also highlight the times we feel they actually DO it.

Many thanks to “FunnyOldWorld” on SoundCloud for posting this snippet from the Claire Byrne Live show this week as she interviewed FIne Gael’s Scapegoat In Chief Richard Bruton…

“Europe is messing with our sovereignty is what you’re saying…”

“Europe is totally messing with our sovereignty…”

” So why didn’t you say that when they asked us to bring in water charges?”

Brilliant.  We love you Claire.