Home » climate change » political economy

Category Archives: political economy


CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENTS FOR NEW YORK STATE: An Economic Framework for Promoting Climate Stabilization and Expanding Good Job Opportunities

By Robert Pollin, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, and Jeannette Wicks-Lim

This study examines the benefits of large-scale green energy investments for New York
State. It also proposes a policy framework for supporting such investments throughout
the state.
Large-scale clean energy investments throughout New York State can advance two fundamental goals:
1. Promoting global climate stabilization by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and
other greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Expanding good job opportunities throughout the state.
solar panels.jpg
Reducing CO2 Emissions
The specific aim for clean energy investments will be to achieve, by 2030, a 50 percent
reduction below the 1990 level in all human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in
New York State.
This translates into a CO2 emissions level of 100 million tons by 2030.
Current emissions are at 170 million tons. The emissions reduction by 2030 therefore
will need to be 40 percent relative to current levels.
CO2 emissions will fall due to reduced consumption of oil, coal and natural gas in
the state. The cuts in natural gas consumption will also support major reductions in
methane emissions.

Major Areas of Clean Energy Investments
 Energy Efficiency. Dramatically improving energy efficiency standards in New York’s
stock of buildings, automobiles and public transportation systems, and industrial production
Clean Renewable Energy. Dramatically expanding the supply of clean renewable
energy sources—primarily wind, solar, and geothermal power—available at competitive
prices to all sectors of New York State’s economy.

Job Creation through Clean Energy Investments
Making the large-scale investments in clean energy projects capable of achieving the 50
percent emissions reduction target by 2030 will generate between 145,000 and 160,000
jobs per year in the state.
New job opportunities will be created in a wide range of areas, including construction,
sales, management, electrical assembly, engineering, and office support.


Austerity Versus Green Growth for Puerto Rico

Amanda Page-Hoongrajok, Shouvik Chakraborty, Robert Pollin have developed a green growth plan for Costa Rica that would eliminate demand for fossil fuels, creat good jobs, reduce energy costs and give back local control of the economy. “In its essentials, our green growth plan consists of two elements: large-scale annual investments in both energy efficiency and clean renewable energy. Through these investments, low-cost, domestically-produced clean energy will steadily supplant imported fossil fuels, with the target being that by 2050, clean energy sources will have replaced fossil fuels entirely in Puerto Rico. This green growth program is capable of delivering much lower energy costs on the island, while also steadily reducing, and finally eliminating altogether, its dependence on fossil fuel imports. The green growth program will also be a major new source of job opportunities and will create widespread opportunities for small-scale ownership forms to flourish within the island’s energy sector. Major debt write-downs will be necessary to enable the green growth program to move forward at a significant scale.”

Can We Fix Capitalism in the Age of Trump and Brexit?

Mariana Mazzucato, Professor of the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit of the University of Sussex and author of The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths, has made a passionate case for the government’s active role in the economy  —sending the old laissez faire notion that markets can run themselves into the dustbin where it belongs. In a new book co-edited with Michael Jacobs, Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, she offers a bold new vision for contemporary capitalism that works for the people and the planet. What chance does this vision have in the age of Trump and Brexit? Mazzucato shares her view in this interview with Lynn Parramore

lynn-parramore mazzucato-mariana

“If we want growth today to be more innovation-driven, more inclusive and more sustainable, then we need a more active state — not a less active one. Yet we still hear the dogma that we should just fix market failure by focusing on science and infrastructure, and to ‘level the playing field.’”

Paying for public services, in a monetary sovereign state

If our national Government was to spend more than the currently budgeted amount on your health care system next year, it would be good to know how they would finance that spending. It is a question…

Source: Paying for public services, in a monetary sovereign state

Frank Stilwell on Turnbull’s Economic Plan

Tis wisely said, “you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink”. In the absence of growing demand for their products, there is no reason to expect that business will respond to a tax cut by investing in expanded productive capacity. Any additional after-tax profit is just as likely to be used for buying residential real estate – precisely what an already speculation-prone economy and society does not need!…editorial-pic2-1

The government’s so-called ‘economic plan’ does not stand up to critical scrutiny. It looks particularly ill-suited to the economic conditions that the nation faces in the aftermath of the local mining boom and the continuing financial instability on a global scale. There is little ‘on the table’ that provides an affective antidote or alternative. Rather, we are being offered continuity in the form of ‘trickle-down economics’. This is the belief that giving wealthy people even more income will eventually benefit everyone. It is a self-serving elite ideology, rather than sound economics. It was deeply embedded in the policies of US President Ronald Reagan, for example, emphasising tax cuts for the wealthy as a means of creating more incentives for wealth-creating private enterprise. Reaganomics caused both economic inequality and the budget deficit to surge. Are we doomed to re-run this failed policy?


The Coalition’s oft-restated commitment to ‘jobs and growth’ is an Abbott-style three word slogan, hitched to a give-away to the big end of town in the form of business tax cuts and some assorted policies that intensify economic inequalities. When the promised surge in ‘jobs and growth’ fails to materialise, the government will have three options: (1) abandon any claims about its capacity to undertake ‘budget repair’, (2) engage in big cuts to social services, health and education in the attempt to get the government budget back into surplus, and/or (3) raise the rate of taxation on goods and services (GST).


No-one knows for sure what the future will bring, but it is hard to take the government’s ‘economic plan’ seriously without also mentioning the tooth fairy or the prospect that pigs might fly…


It’s time to junk the flawed economic models that make the world a dangerous place

Mainstream economics is terrible at understanding the reality of human behaviour. Now, even the respected thinker Paul Romer is calling for change says Paul Mason


Romer’s huge mea culpa on behalf of mainstream economics is a sign that, after a decade-long hunt for trolls and gremlins as the cause of crisis, academia now has to begin the search for the cause of instablity inside the system, not outside it. My hunch is that the answer lies in large, agent-based simulations, in which millions of virtual people take random decisions driven by irrational urges – such as sex and altruism – not just the pursuit of wealth

Dispelling Common Folktales of Government Spending, Taxation and Deficits

Alan Nasser explains How Modern Money Works.

Modern Monetary Theory has one of it’s best exponents at Australia’s Newcastle University in  Bill Mitchell. Alan Nasser here sets out the myths about government taxing and spending we are seemingly trapped with. Left wing economists as much as others, and why this is keeping us in the neo-liberal moment.

As Keynes put it, “Anything we can actually do we can afford. Once done it is there. Nothing can take it away from us.” He also said in the Treatise On Money

“[I]f the banks can create credit, (why) should they refuse any reasonable request for it? And why should they charge a fee for what costs them little or nothing?”