Carney on the economic and political situation

You should stop what you’re doing right now and read The Spectre of Monaterism by Mark Carney, the excellent chairman of the Bank of England. It’s a short speech, with graphs.

Carney is calling for “building a globalization that works for all.” His is not a fully formed proposal, but it’s a at least one step forward in ending the intellectual bankruptcy of the opposition.

From his speech:

To address the deeper causes of weak growth, higher inequality and rising insecurity requires a globalisation that works for all.

For the societies of free-trading, networked countries to prosper, they must first re-distribute some of the gains from trade and technology, and then re-skill and reconnect all of their citizens. By doing so, they can put individuals back in control.

For free trade to benefit all requires some redistribution. There are limits, of course, because of fiscal constraints at the macro level and the need to maintain incentives at the micro level. Fostering dependency on the state is no way to increase human agency, even though a safety net is needed to cushion shocks and smooth adjustment.

Redistribution and fairness also means turning back the tide of stateless corporations. As the Prime Minister recently stressed, companies must be rooted and pay tax somewhere: businesses operating across borders “have responsibilities … in terms, for example, of payment of tax.” They must recognise “the role that they play in local communities and the responsibilities that they have in any country they are operating in to abide by the rules.”

Because technology and trade are constantly evolving and can lead to rapid shifts in production, the commitment to reskilling all workers must be continual.

In a job market subject to frequent, radical changes, people’s prospects depend on direct and creative engagement with global markets. Lifelong learning, ever-greening skills and cooperative training will become more important than ever.

Finally, in an age where anyone can produce anything anywhere through 3-D printing, where anyone can broadcast their performance globally or sell to China whatever the size of their business, there is an opportunity for mass employment through mass creativity.

It’s not everything, but it’s a start.

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