Jul 27 • 1HR 2M

The Eco-Fiscal Crisis | James Meadway

What to do — and not do — in an emergency

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Rachel Donald
Planet: Critical is the podcast for a world in crisis. We face severe climate, energy, economic and political breakdown. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews those confronting the crisis, revealing what's really going on—and what needs to be done.
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“If you think about how you might get out of this and get to something better, what really matters is the distribution of resources. Who has what? Who holds the wealth? And what are they doing with it? Government borrowing and quantitative easing, this sort of thing, can change some of that, but really when you get down to it, you're going to have to think about how you're going to tax some of that wealth because you need to shift actual resources around. The most effective mechanism we have for doing that is taxation.”


Economics is a pretty bizarre field: A social science masquerading as an actual science, economics inflexibly dictates life, relationships, election manifestos and policy despite none of it being set in stone. The beauty of economics is we can radically overhaul our economic systems and institutions to better serve us, rather than being prey to the outputs of a haggard and worn out system. Such a realisation is, though, beyond the imagination of most economic leaders.

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But there are economists out there working to debunk the myths, cut through the noise, and creating policies which would serve both people and planet. James Meadway—former treasury advisor, member of the Progressive Economy Forum council, and the host of the Macrodose podcast—is one of them. He joins me to discuss the emergency and long-term policies we should implement to navigate the climate crisis, the economic crisis, and to radically overhaul and transition our societies to those which support life over productivity. We discuss some alternative frameworks that are being researched around the world, including de-growth and modern monetary theory, whilst James insists that which needs to be re-evaluated is value itself.

© Rachel Donald

Planet: Critical investigates why the world is in crisis—and what to do about it. Support the project with a paid subscription.