Friday, October 21, 2016

The Democratic Economy

Yanis Varoufakis

Has solidarity given way to domination in the European Union? Can the euro – even the EU itself – survive if some member states are allowed to force others out? How can the spirit and practice of democracy be revived in an age of oligarchy and vast inequality? Are there economic alternatives that would benefit the many rather than the few? And how should multilateral financing be redesigned to boost jobs and incomes?

The Greek crisis was not only about the government’s ability to service its external debt. It was – and remains – about the European Union’s own contradictions: a monetary union without a common treasury; a technocratic core shot through with national interests; and, most visibly, a widening structural gap between the Union’s northern and southern members.

No one has made this argument more forcefully than Yanis Varoufakis, who spent five months as Greece’s finance minister at the height of the crisis, when he became a lightning rod for demanding debt relief from his country’s creditors and refusing to ignore their shocking indifference to economic arguments. “It was not even annoyance,” he lamented, soon after resigning. “It was as if one had not spoken.”

An economist, author, and policymaker, Varoufakis has consistently staked out bold positions from the perspective of the marginalized and dispossessed. And, as the issues he confronts – particularly the political consequences of growing inequality – become more salient worldwide, his perspective has become more relevant, and more in demand, than ever.

In The Democratic Economy, written exclusively for Project Syndicate , Yanis Varoufakis paints an unsparing picture of the social and economic consequences of contemporary policymaking, and uses the tools of an academic economist to make the case for a new approach. Audacious, witty, and rigorous, Varoufakis combines the trained eye of a researcher with the beating heart of a reformer.

Yanis Varoufakis is the one voice on Europe – and the global economy – that your readers cannot afford to miss.

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