Published ten years after the financial crisis and comprising articles by contributors to Labour’s New Economics conferences, Economics for the Many provides a set of alternatives to Tory austerity. It addresses issues from public ownership, to rising consumer debt, control of the banks, tax avoidance and the need for a Green New Deal.
A book like this cannot include everything. The link between growing economic and labour market inequalities and the crash are not explored, however there are some major omissions which may be the result of political disagreement as lack of space. Analysis of People’s Quantitative Easing gives way to a chapter on Labour’s ‘Fiscal Credibility’ and there are limited references to universal basic income, something opposed by key trade union leaders. And of course, discussion of Brexit doesn’t feature.
Yet this is a timely publication designed for a non-specialist audience. As is noted, confidence in understanding economics remains absent from all but a small minority of the electorate. More worrying, within education many activists and researchers remain unwilling to widen their horizons and engage with some of the key reasons behind current policy directions.