Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780745335544 Published December 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $100.00 ISBN: 9780745335551 Published December 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

Debt or Democracy

Public Money for Sustainability and Social Justice

Mary Mellor

Debt or Democracy

Mary Mellor

Distributed for Pluto Press

216 pages | 5 1/3 x 8 1/2 | © 2015
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780745335544 Published December 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $100.00 ISBN: 9780745335551 Published December 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
In the wake of the global financial crisis, most of the discussion has been focused on questions of debt. And the response, almost uniformly, has been austerity and privatization: cuts to services that have been painted as forms of reckless spending by a bloated public sector. In Debt or Democracy, Mary Mellor turns the whole conversation upside down, showing that the important question is not who owes what, but who controls the creation and circulation of money in the first place. When the problem is examined from that angle, it becomes clear that privatization, far from being the answer to our problem, is the very source of it—the subordination of public finance to private interest.
 
A direct challenge to conventional economic thinking, Debt or Democracy offers a bracing new analysis of our economic crisis and offers cogent, radical alternatives to create a more just and sustainable economic future.
Contents
Introduction
1. The Privatisation of Money and the Politics of Austerity
2.  Money for Sustainability, Sufficiency and Social Justice
3.  Provisioning through Public Money
4.  Misunderstanding Public Money: Four Myths and a Confusion
5.  Janus-faced: the Central Bank
6.  Understanding Public Money
7.  Public Money: Beyond the Borders
8.  Conclusion: Crisis and Change
Bibliography
Index
Review Quotes
Choice
"An important book devoid of the jargon that often accompanies works on money and banking.  Tightly packed and insightful, it reflects a deep and wide reading of the relevant literature yet is accessible enough that people without much background in economics will find it quite readable. Mellor shreds the conventional financial ideology that while consumers are encouraged to take on debt, governments must avoid debt like the plague. The resulting starvation of important government policies leads to slow growth and human suffering. No short review can capture the depth and importance of this valuable book. Essential."
Ann Pettifor, director, PRIME: Policy Research in Macroeconomics and a fellow of the New Economics Foundation
“Mellor has a superb understanding of the nature of money, of the institutions that underpin our monetary system, and of the economic frameworks within which monetary systems operate. I have looked forward to the publication of this book and highly recommend it to readers. Because money is nothing more than civilization's social and economic relationships expressed in monetary terms, it should be a matter of intense focus of study for sociologists, as well as economists. Sadly, neither discipline has paid the subject sufficient attention. Mellor is one of two fine sociologists (the other is Geoffrey Ingham) who writes authoritatively about money—and whose writing is highly accessible.”
Giorgos Kallis, Autonomous University of Barcelona and SOAS, University of London
“Prospering without growth requires reclaiming the creation of money from private banks. Now that even the likes of the IMF and the Bank of England entertain the idea of public money, how money is to be made public is as important as ever. And Mellor's book has the right answers.”
Ben Dyson, founder and head of research, Positive Money
“An insightful and thought-provoking analysis. This book clearly shows why a monetary system based on debt inevitably leads to crisis.”
Andrew Sayer, Lancaster University, UK
“By challenging entrenched myths about money and economic value, Mellor demonstrates the need to change the way in which money is created, in order to stop the private sector undermining the public sector and enable a shift to an economy that is environmentally sustainable and socially just. Fresh, clear, and incisive.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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