Local resilience is the key to well-being

In the name of "modernisation", the government has insisted on competitive commissioning, a narrow focus on financial efficiency savings, and investment through the private finance initiative (PFI) that builds up long-term debts. It has shown a strong preference for large, aggregated contracts. In other words, public services have been subject to the same blind faith in market forces as the rest of the economy.

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Blaming the poor while bailing out the banks

As the financial crisis continues to unfold, one myth keeps getting repeated: the crisis was caused by poor people defaulting on sub-prime loans. In short, if only they hadn't been so feckless then the great edifice of sub-prime debt need not have brought the financial system crashing down upon us. This isn't just wrong, it's dangerous and wrong.

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Complacent…or just desperate for good news?

Results may not have been as bad as expected but still made for dismal reading in last week's OECD report on inequality. At a time when the rewards of the rich are being called sharply into question, the UK still has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the developed world and social mobility is static. The rate at which inequality has widened is slowing, which is not the same as the gap narrowing. More

History repeats: IMF bail outs

The IMF bail-out packages for Iceland, Hungary and the Ukraine provoke more than a little d'ej`a vu.

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Paradigm reclaimed: why a finance system that’s fit for purpose must be built on new economic princi

The predictable crisis in the global system is the most important sign yet that a new economics is emerging. The tragedy is that the crisis-ridden financial system has long since failed to do the basic job required - to underpin the productive economy, and the fundamental operating systems upon which we all depend. These have been variously neglected, taken for granted or cannibalised by finance. More

Green New Deal Round-Up

This week, The Independent's Archie Bland reassesses the legacy of New Deal economist John Maynard Keynes and wonders whether his ideas might be resusitated to tackle the financial crisis with green investment.

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Darling must re-engineer the economy in the face of a triple crunch of credit, oil and climate

When copies of The Great Crash: 1929 by JK Galbraith were on their way back from the printer in 1955, its author was giving evidence to a Senate hearing - during which there was a sudden stockmarket crash. He was blamed for it.

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The West Wing, Obama, and the importance of seeding ideas

The Obama victory is seen to represent the hope of achieving the seemingly unattainable: clearly an important symbol for organisations like nef whose primary objective is nothing less than changing the world. While part of the wonder of the moment comes from basking in the thought that "Only a few years ago, no one could have imagined that this was really possible", there is an interesting sense in which this isn't entirely true.

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Green New Deal Round-Up

The Green New Deal Round-Up has an unsurprisingly American flavour this week, as pundits weigh up the economic and green credentials of the President-Elect, Barack Obama.

Van Jones - author of The Green Collar Economy - has seen hope in Obama for a while, predicting

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When it is about the economy but not economics

The principle of representation is at the heart of the type of democracy which we in the UK share with the United States. In theory, it's meant to prevent elites from acquiring and maintaining power: it ensures that the legislature mirrors the nation's constituents.

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