Our Latest Issue! Plus: Save the Date!

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Our September/October 2019 issue is at the printers and has been sent to e-subscribers.  You can find the table of contents here, and the cover story, “Why Economics?,” by D&S co-founder Frank Ackerman, who died in August, here.  Below is the issue’s p. 2 editors’ note. 

Not the Only Dreamer

Frank Ackerman, the co-founder of Dollars & Sense who died this past July, was a funny guy. In the retrospective on his career in economics that is this issue’s cover story (p. 9), he called D&S “the ultimate Marxist-Lennonist enterprise: you could say that we were dreamers, but we weren’t the only ones.”

It seems fitting that this issue, which pays tribute to Frank and his work, comes out right after the Global Youth Climate Strike, led by students around the world, on July 20th (and continuing on subsequent Fridays), which activist and teacher Jane Paul reports on in this issue (p. 6). Frank’s retrospective says says that the arc of his career went from “youthful optimism” to “mature pessimism about how unpredictably bad the worst cases can turn out to be.” But his work later in his career exposing economists’ complicity in minimizing the damage from climate change itself held out hope for preventing the worst outcomes, and can bolster the youthful optimism of the climate strikers and those of us joining in their demand for urgent action.

Besides Frank’s first-hand account of his career, this issue also includes a tribute to Frank and his academic and intellectual accomplishments by Arthur MacEwan, another D&S co-founder and our columnist (p. 7). In addition to his eight years at D&S, his writings on the economics of climate change, and his most recent work on the “puzzling frequency of catastrophic events,” Frank also made important contributions to the critique of neoclassical economics, including the theory of general equilibrium and cost-benefit analysis. This issue’s 45th-anniversary reprint is “Pricing the Priceless” (p. 27), co-authored by Frank and Lisa Heinzerling, a professor of environmental law. This article, from the March/April 2003 issue of D&S, summarizes their research critiquing cost-benefit analysis, the approach mainstream economists take to public policy which tries to put a price tag on everything, often with nonsensical and potentially disastrous results. Lastly, we include a review of Frank’s most recent book, Worst-Case Economics, by economist Robert Buchele (p. 29).

Like Frank, we dream of a more just world, and we carry on Frank’s projects—from D&S to the fights for economic and climate justice—well-armed with the intellectual tools he has given us.

Also in this issue: our columnist John Miller on the resuscitation of private social security accounts; economist Bruce Parry’s primer on debt; economist Francisco Aldape on fuel theft and governance in Mexico; and more!

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Save the Date to Celebrate!

Subscribers, readers, and supporters in the Boston area are cordially invited to D&S’ 45th Anniversary Celebration, on Thursday, November 14th at 6:30 p.m., at the Community Room of the Nonprofit Center (89 South St., Boston, Mass. 02111). Speakers will include Boston College professor of sociology and former D&S collective member Juliet Schor, and D&S co-founder and columnist Arthur MacEwan. We will celebrate D&S’ history and mission over wine and beer, cheese and crackers, and other snacks. RSVP by visiting: http://bit.ly/45th-party-11-14-19.

Whether or not you can make it to the event, we encourage you to give to the five-year D&S Sustainability Fund Campaign, which we are launching at the event. We will have more details about the campaign in our November/December issue and via mailings to subscribers and supporters. Contact Tom Louie (tlouie@dollarsandsense.org) for more details.

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