ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Life of Rare Richness

A fellow economist and friend looks back at Ashok Mitra's intellectual contributions and the wide range of his experiences, associations, and interests.

Statement on the Illegitimate and Inappropriate Use Money Bills and Finance Bills

More than 200 concerned citizens have expressed concern on the classification of the Finance Bill, 2017 as a "Money Bill" and appealed to Vice President Hamid Ansari. The statement is reproduced below:

Once More on the ‘Humbug of Finance’

While an expansionary monetary policy acts by respecting private rationality, an expansionary fiscal policy, involving larger government expenditure financed by a fiscal deficit or taxes on capitalists, implicitly highlights the limitations of private rationality. Finance capital not surprisingly opposes the latter, even though the proffered arguments for “fiscal responsibility” have no theoretical validity. Given the current world economic crisis, a spate of beggar-my-neighbour policies are on the horizon.

A Quiet Scholar

Amitava Bose (28 July 1947–13 January 2017) was known for his intellectual prowess in the field of macroeconomics and being a true gentleman.

Economic Liberalisation and the Working Poor

Economic liberalisation is usually taken to mean a general "retreat of the state." This is erroneous. The state in a "liberalised regime" acts almost exclusively in the interests of globalised capital and the domestic corporate-financial oligarchy that gets integrated with it, which means inter alia a withdrawal of state support from traditional petty production, including peasant agriculture. This is what underlies the phenomenon of absolute impoverishment of the working people, notably in the form of growing nutritional deprivation, which "liberalisation" has unleashed in India over the last 25 years, and which, notwithstanding assiduous denials by its votaries, is quite indubitable.

A Note on the Elementary Macroeconomics of Austerity

When austerity as a means for dealing with a recession is counterproductive, why is it recommended to deal with a defi ciency in aggregate demand? Or can it be justifi ed as a way to reduce the current account defi cit by lowering domestic absorption? A critical analysis of the macroeconomics underlying austerity policies.

Ajit Singh (1940-2015)

A tribute to the economist, Ajit Singh, who taught at the University of Cambridge and recently at Panjab University.

Politics of Vendetta

Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, who have fought a long and heroic battle to advance the cause of justice for Gujarat’s 2002 pogrom, face possible prosecution on charges of financial misappropriation. We see this as a clear case of the politics of vendetta launched with explicit intent to whitewash...

Literary Witch-Hunt

In another shocking and serious blow to the freedom of expression, Perumal Murugan, an influential Tamil writer at the peak of his creative powers, has been bullied, blackmailed and harassed by anonymous and vested religious elements led by the Hindutva Right, in collusion with the police and the...

From the Planning Commission to the NITI Aayog

The transition from the Planning Commission to the Niti Aayog reflects the completion of the transition from a state professing anti-imperialism to a neo-liberal state.Niti Aayog will oversee a greater centralisation of powers in the central government, and with the abolition of the National Development Council and its replacement by regional councils, the limited say the states had on policies and the flow of funds stands further eroded. In short, the constraints on state governments will be tightened rather than loosened in theNiti Aayog era.

On Controlling Inflation

Under the theoretical hegemony of monetarism, and serving the interests of the capitalists, the government's anti-inflationary policy seeks to lower real wages and reduce employment to achieve its objective, this even as the level of aggregate demand falls short of the available supply. This paper suggests an alternative method of inflation control which uses transfer payments to the working population to bring down the rate of inflation by increasing aggregate output. Indeed, real wages and employment go up and post-tax profits do not suffer, even as the government balances its budget by taxing the capitalists to obtain the additional revenue to make the transfer payments. The method however requires capital controls to be in place.

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