Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Episode 80: Textbook Examples

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

I have to keep reminding myself that, when I start a task of reading and dissecting, I should read and dissect ALL of it, not just the parts I think would be most interesting. Why? There's interesting stuff in those boring parts, if only I considered them enough. As it was with college speakers, so too is it the case with textbooks. Hence, Episode 80: Textbook Examples.

In this episode, I play excerpts from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan giving testimony to Congress from October 23, 2008, and from President Franklin Roosevelt's first inaugural address from March 4, 1933. I read from Steve Keen's excellent book Debunking Economics, and shared a couple of very similar quotes from Nathan Meyer Rothschild and Paul Samuelson. As usual, D. L. Myers opened the show reading from The Memo.

Through the show today I weave a Pietnastka tune appropriately called "School Boy". KMFDM backs Henry Giroux near the start, and I close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license. I don't say that every time. I should.


  1. Thanks for the episode! I just never, ever get tired of economic critics and iconoclasts like Steve Keen or Michael Hudson. I think they and David Graeber would agree that economic textbooks promulgate false or invalid economic frameworks that are convenient for those already in power.

    The Extra-environmentalists had good interviews with Keen and Hudson, which you ought to listen to if you haven't. Hudson has a great speech on YouTube somewhere (which the Extra-environmentalists excerpted) saying something like, "Economists would have you believe that you are not in fact living on Earth in the present day. They want you to believe that you are living on Mars or some fictitious planet where money doesn't exist, banks don't exist, nobody ever inherits money, nobody cheats or engages in fraud... " etc.
    This awesome rant concludes the video here, starting around the 31:40 mark -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZQqrxHGcoQ

    Also on the subject of "Homo Economicus" and the Rational Actor, I wonder if you have ever seen the Adam Curtis documentary "The Trap". Bet you have, but just in case... you'll find a lot of interesting stuff about how the RAND corporation wrote down and codified this assumption about how people are rational benefit-seekers. Check it out.

    1. Thanks for the episode!

      No, Sir, Thank You! It sounds cheesy, but it means a lot to put a bunch of work into something and have someone other than yourself validate the work with a compliment!

      I've heard every episode of the EE—heck, if Justin and Seth are to be believed, I was the first contributor to mail a paper check. Still, it might be a good idea to go back and relisten to some of their stuff to refresh my memory.

      ...I wonder if you have ever seen the Adam Curtis documentary "The Trap".

      No! Darn it all, that's one good reason for me to keep doing this show, just as a format to allow people to recommend better stuff! Give me a few weeks, and I will (like I did for his Hypernormalization) absorb it and be able to regurgitate the bullet points.

      Thanks again, KW!