Over 120 economists worldwide just urgently backed Corbyn to avoid UK economic catastrophe

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Over 120 economists and academics worldwide have “urgently” backed Jeremy Corbyn in the general election, to avoid what could be an economic catastrophe.

The Conservative economic plan ‘failed’

In a letter to The Guardian signed by the 128 experts, they warned that the Conservative agenda would “slow the economy” at the “crucial juncture” of Brexit.

Following the Brexit vote, the drop in the pound means we are facing the biggest fall in our standard of living since WWII. Official projections show that Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation will rise to 4.1% in the final quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, a report from the Bank of England shows that nominal wage growth will actually fall in response to higher inflation, not increase. Coupled together, and we have a record-breaking fall in our standard of living.

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The letter also points out that Conservative austerity has failed:

Their spending cuts have hurt the most vulnerable and failed to achieve their intended debt and deficit reduction targets.

The Conservatives came to power in 2010 aiming to remove the budget deficit by 2015. Today, the deficit is still greater than in 2008, before the Conservative-backed decision to bail out crashing private banks with public money.

On the overall debt, former Chancellor George Osborne proportionately increased debt by more in five years than every Labour government in history combined.

Backing Labour’s economic plan

By contrast, the 128 academics championed Labour’s plan:

Labour’s manifesto proposals are much better designed to strengthen and develop the economy and ensure that its benefits are more fairly shared and sustainable, as well as being fiscally responsible and based on sound estimations.

We point to the proposed increases in investment in the future of the UK and its people, labour market policies geared to decrease inequality and to protect the lower paid and those in insecure work, and fair and progressive changes in taxation.

Rebalancing the economy will increase demand for goods and services, because ordinary people will have more money to spend.

Predicted the economic crash

Almost nobody saw the 2007/8 financial crash coming. But where mainstream experts failed, at least three of the economists now backing Corbyn predicted the crash. Dean Baker, Steve Keen and Ann Pettifor all saw the banking crisis that defined a generation coming. In 2006, Pettifor warned that the coming debt crisis:

will hurt millions of ordinary borrowers, and will inflict prolonged dislocation and economic, social and personal pain on those largely ignorant of the causes of the crisis, and innocent of responsibility for it.

Keen (author of Debunking Economics), meanwhile, won the Revere Award for Economics for his foresight.

Now, these economists have joined 125 others calling on Britons to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. The experts point out that the Labour leader’s investment-based plan will stimulate the economy, while there is “no future” in a Conservative “race to the bottom”. Given the Brexit context, the economists rightly call their intervention ‘urgent’. They said 8 June will be “perhaps the most important UK general election since 1945”.

The list of signatories:

Dr Adotey Bing-Pappoe, lecturer in economics; Alan Freeman (personal capacity); Alfredo Saad Filho, Professor of Political Economy, SOAS University of London; Andrew Cumbers, Professor of Regional Political Economy, University of Glasgow; Andrew Simms, author of The New Economics, co-director New Weather Institute; Andy Ross FAcSS, Visiting Professor, Birkbeck University of London; Andy Kilmister, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Oxford Brookes University; Ann Pettifor, Director of PRIME Economics (Policy Research in Macroeconomics); Dr Antonio Andreoni (PhD Cambridge), Senior Lecturer in Economics, SOAS University of London; Anwar Shaikh, Professor, New School for Social Research, USA; Arturo Hermann, Senior research fellow, Italian National Institute of Statistics, Rome, Italy; Professor Ben Fine, Department of Economics, SOAS University of London; Robert Rowthorn, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Cambridge; Bruce Cronin, Professor of Economic Sociology, Director of Research, Director of the Centre for Business Network Analysis, University of Greenwich; Dr Bruno Bonizzi, Lecturer in Political Economy, University of Wincheste; Carlos Oya, Reader in Development Studies, SOAS University of London; Carolina Alves, PhD Economics; Carolyn Jones, Director, Institute of Employment Rights; Cem Oyvat, Lecturer, University of Greenwich; Christopher Cramer, Professor of the Political Economy of Development, SOAS University of London; Ciaran Driver FAcSS, Professor of Economics, SOAS University of London; Professor Colin Haslam, Professor of Accounting and Finance, Queen Mary University of London; Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics, SOAS University of London; Cyrus Bina, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics, University of Minnesota, USA; Dr Dan O’Neill, Lecturer in Ecological Economics, University of Leeds; Daniela Gabor, Professor of Economics and Macro-Finance, University of the West of England; Daniele Archibugi, Professor, Birkbeck College; Professor Danny Dorling, University of Oxford, Writer and Academic; Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC; Dr Deborah Johnston Pro-Director (Learning and Teaching) SOAS (University of London); Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, Associate Professor in Political Economy, Director, Latin American Centre, University of Oxford; Dr Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos, The Open University Business School; Elisa Van Waeyenberge, Lecturer of Economics, SOAS University of London; Dr Emanuele Lobina, Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich; Dr Faiza Shaheen, Economist (in a personal capacity); Frances Stewart, Professor of Development Economics and Director, Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, University of Oxford; Gary Dymski, Professor of Applied Economics, Leeds University Business School; Geoff Harcourt, Honorary Professor, UNSW Australia; Gerald Epstein, Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute, and Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA; Dr Giorgos Galanis, Lecturer in Economics, Goldsmiths University; Gregor Semieniuk, Lecturer in Economics, SOAS University of London; Guglielmo Forges Davanzati, Associate professor of Political Economy, University of Salento, Italy; Dr Guy Standing FAcSS, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London; Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge; Hannah Bargawi, Lecturer in Economics, SOAS University of London, and Research Partner, Centre for Development Policy and Research; Dr Hassan Hakimian, Reader in Economics, SOAS University of London; Professor Dr Heiner Flassbeck, former Chief Economist of UNCTAD, Geneva; Heikki Patomäki, Professor of World Politics, University of Helsinki; Howard M. Wachtel, Professor Emeritus of Economics, American University, Washington, DC, USA; Howard Reed, Director, Landman Economics; Dr Hugh Goodacre, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Westminster, Teaching Fellow, University College London; Hugo Radice, University of Leeds; Hulya Dagdeviren, Professor of Economic Development, University of Hertfordshire; Ilhan Dögüs, Department of Socioeconomics, University of Hamburg, Germany; James K. Galbraith, Professor of Government, University of Texas, USA; Jan Toporowski, Professor of Economics and Finance, SOAS University of London; Dr Jane Lethbridge, Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich; Jeanette Findlay, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Glasglow; Jeff Faux, Founder & former Director, Economic Policy Institute, Washington DC; Dr Jeff Powell, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich; Dr Jeff Tan, Economist, Aga Khan University in the UK; Jeremy Smith, co-director, PRIME Economics (Policy Research in Macroeconomics); Dr Jo Michell, Senior Lecturer in Economics, UWE Bristol; Professor John Grahl, Economics Department, Middlesex University; John Palmer, former Political Director of the European Policy Centre; Dr Johnna Montgomerie, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Deputy Director of the Political Economy Research Centre, Goldsmiths University of London; Jonathan Dawson, Coordinator of Economics, Schumacher College; Professor Jonathan Michie, Professor of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange, University of Oxford; Dr Jonathan Perraton, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Sheffield; Jorge Buzaglo, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Stockholm, Sweden; Dr Julian Wells, Principal Lecturer of Economics, Kingston University; Kate Bayliss, Research Fellow, Economics Department, SOAS University of London; Professor Kate Pickett, University of York Champion for Research on Justice & Equality; Dr Kevin Deane, Senior Lecturer in International Development, University of Northampton (personal capacty); Dr Kitty Stewart, Associate Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science; Klaus Nielsen, Professor of Institutional Economics, Birkbeck University of London; László Andor, Associate Professor, Corvinus University, Hungary; Leslie Huckfield, Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University; Malcolm Sawyer, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Leeds; Marco Veronese Passarella, Economics Division, Leeds University Business School; Maria Nikolaidi, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich; Dr Mario Seccareccia, Full Professor, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Canada; Dr Martin Watts, Emeritus Professor of Economics, The University of Newcastle; Massoud Karshenas, Professor of Economics, SOAS University of London; Dr Matteo Rizzo, Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, SOAS University of London; Mehmet Ugur, Professor of Economics and Institutions, University of Greenwich Business School; Michael Roberts, financial economist and author of The Long Depression; Professor Mushtaq Khan, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London; Professor Ozlem Onaran, Director of Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre, University of Greenwich; Pallavi Roy, Lecturer in International Economics, SOAS, University of London; Paulo dos Santos, Assistant Professor of Economic, New School for Social Research, USA; Paul Mason, economics writer; Prem Sikka, Emeritus Professor of Accounting, University of Essex; Dr Pritam Singh, Professor of Economics, Oxford Brookes University; Radhika Desai, Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba, USA; Richard McIntyre, Professor, Chair, Department of Economics, University of Rhode Island, USA; Richard Murphy, Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University of London and Director of Tax Research LLP; Richard Parker, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA; Richard Wilkinson, Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham; Dr Robert Calvert Jump, Lecturer in Economics, Kingston University; Robert Neild, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge; Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Co-Director, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA; Roberto Veneziani, Queen Mary University of London; Susan Himmelweit, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Open University; Dr Sara Gorgoni, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich; Dr Sara Maioli, Lecturer in Economics, Newcastle University; Dr Satoshi Miyamura, Lecturer in the Economy of Japan, SOAS University of London; Shawky Arif, The University of Northampton; Simon Wren-Lewis, Professor of Economic Policy, Oxford University; Professor Steve Keen, Department of Economics, Kingston University; Professor Engelbert Stockhammer, Kingston University; Simon Mohun, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, Queen Mary University of London; Dr Sunil Mitra Kumar, Lecturer in Economics, King’s College London; Susan Newman, Senior Lecturer of Economics, University of West England; Dr Susan Pashkoff, Economist; Dr Suzanne J Konzelmann, Director, Postgraduate Programmes in Corporate Governance and Business Ethics, Director, London Centre for Corporate Governance and Ethics, Co-Executive Editor, Cambridge Journal of Economics; Tom Palley, Former Chief Economist, US-China Economic and Security Review Commission; Tomás Rotta, Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich; Trevor Evans, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany; Will Davies, Reader in Political Economy, Goldsmiths, University of London; Dr William Van Lear, Economics Professor, Belmont Abbey College, USA; Yanis Varoufakis, Former Minister of Finance, Greece; Yannis Dafermos, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of the West of England; José Gabriel Palma, University of Cambridge; Yulia Yurchenko, University of Greenwhich; Laurie Macfarlane, Economics Editor, Open Democracy; Meghnad Desai, London School of Economics; Clive Lawson, University of Cambridge; Professor Lawrence King, University of Cambridge

Get Involved!

– Get out and vote on 8 June. Make sure your friends know what’s at stake.

– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.

– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.

Featured image via Chatham House

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