Soundings

Articles from No. 41, Spring

Adult Responsibility in Insecure Times: The Post-Crash World Necessitates a Redefinition of Adulthood
Has adulthood as we once knew it been lost? Is the state of 'being adult' so eroded that immaturity, selfishness and infantilism have all but replaced it? You could be forgiven for thinking so, given the frequency with which media commentators, sociologists...
City Pay: A Focus on the Greed of Financial Elites Is an Over-Simplifying Response to the Financial Crisis
The current financial crisis has stimulated considerable debate about the pay of financial intermediaries. The rewards system in investment banks, and especially the emphasis on the annual bonus, has frequently been identified as directly responsible...
End of the Line for General Practice? the Government's Current Plans for Primary Care and General Practice Are Likely to Bring about the Dismantlement of General Practice as We Currently Understand It
In early 2008 Camden Primary Care Trust, host PCT for the practice where I have worked for almost thirty years, awarded a contract for managing three local GP practices to UnitedHealth UK, a subsidiary of the huge American 'health and wellbeing' corporation....
Financial Bubbles and Economic Crises
In your recent book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital (http://www.carlotaperez.org/) you argue that it is possible to discern recurring historical patterns of major technical change, accompanied by cycles of financial turbulence - which...
Food Sovereignty: Time to Choose Sides: The Food Sovereignty Movement Offers the Only Sustainable Alternative to the World's Food Problems
For some time now we have been in the midst of a 'food crisis', which has been lamented by media and politicians alike, and is now almost universally regarded as a significant obstacle to the improvement of the human condition. Yet the current problems...
Iraq's New Ruling Elite: The Misleading Idea That Saddam's Regime Could Be Replaced by an Alternative Elite of US-Backed Exiles Bears Heavy Responsibility for the Country's Instability
On 27 November 2008, the Iraqi parliament voted to accept a new set of treaties that if implemented in full would mark the effective end of the American occupation. They set an unambiguous timetable for all US troops to be out of the country by December...
Life on Credit: Debt Addiction Has for Some Time Been Widely Encouraged. It Is Time to Turn off the Addicts' Supply
Rosa Luxemburg famously suggested that the capitalist form of expansion is also its curse, a recipe for disaster - parasitic from the beginning and suicidal at the end. To develop, the capitalist system needs non- or pre-capitalist social organisations...
Private Equity and the Credit Crunch: The Mobile Opportunism of Private Equity Has Made Short Shrift of Its Theorists' Legitimating Narratives
In a recent Financial Times article, Nassim Taleb, author of business bestseller The Black Swan, and his derivatives consultant colleague Pablo Triana called for the withdrawal of funding to business schools, and the ousting of finance professors who...
Recession Politics
Financial theorists have recently been accused of suffering from the 'bystander effect' - everyone was waiting for someone else to be the first to point out that something had gone badly wrong (see Adam Leaver in this issue). The financial elite and...
Tax Justice and Secrecy Jurisdictions: Tax Havens, Once an Unassailable Part of the Global Financial System, Are Now Increasingly under Threat - and That Is Good News for Supporters of International Social Justice
2008 was an extraordinary year for the world's tax havens. When it began few would have expected the storm that was to break over them as the financial crisis unfurled. But as it ran its course, President Sarkozy of France called for the closing of...
The Housing Disaster: The Encouragement of Widespread Speculation on Houses Was Always an Unlikely Route to 'Affordable Housing'
The dramatic housing market slump and the collapse of the house-building industry in the wake of the credit crunch came just as the government started making building more homes a political priority. After years in the policy wilderness, in 2007 Gordon...
The Problem with Being Private
Steve Amiel and I both started in general practice at around the same time. Vocational training had just become compulsory for GPs, making family medicine a speciality rather than something you just did if you never became a specialist. Multidisciplinary...
The Undeserving Poor: As the Undeserving Poor Become Ever More Closely Associated with Negative Characteristics, the Well-Adjusted Majority Can Continue to Enjoy the Benefits of 'Meritocracy' with Easy Minds
Long before she was found guilty of criminal behaviour, press coverage of Karen Matthews (recently sentenced to prison for her role in the kidnap of her daughter Shannon) was a prominent example of the media's obsession with the 'undeserving poor'...
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