Saturday, November 27, 2010

Students on the streets. Well-being? Tuition fees - Cameron, Clegg & Werner

It is a bleak cold November and anger is spilling into English streets at raised tuition fees. Students are giving Nick Clegg Deputy UK Prime Minister a particular roasting following his pledge not to raise the fees at the May election. At the same time Prime Minister David Cameron has launched a new way of measuring the nation's success. He calls it measuring well-being and it is to run alongside the usual economic measures, such as GDP.  It will look at how our lives - our quality of life - is improving, how much control we feel we have over our life and surroundings, how good our relationships are, and so on. 

Prof Richard Werner in his book New Paradigm in Macroeconomics (Palgrave Macmillan 2005) writes: 
Neoclassical economics is built on the fundamental axiom that  the main motivation and goal of mankind is to accumulate more material wealth....reforms inspired by neoclassical economics have failed to make people happy. Instead there is evidence that they have become unhappier as a result...Educational reform, endorsed by neoclassical thinking has saddled students with substantial debt. Psychologists have found that this is a main source of depression among students. (pp14-15)

Fortunately there is a way to resolve Cameron's bold vision and Clegg's fees problem. It is to be found in Werner's book, where he deals with fundamental issues such as: 

1) How we allow banks to skew the resources of the nation to their own ends. [See also Martin Wolf in the Financial Times 9 Nov 2010: 'The essence of the contemporary monetary system is creation of money, out of nothing, by private banks’ often foolish lending'.]

(2) How we could redirect economic matters to bring a greater fairness and well-being. He writes:
'Every childbearing family could, for instance, be paid $100,000 for each child born,...administered... for specific purposes. Such a policy would not be inflationary: among all inputs into the production function, human resources are by far the most important. Therefore this is the best example of productive credit creation, as long as resources are also spent on a high level of education.'  (pp340-341)

If GDP is to grow, education must be encouraged. If education is to grow, students must not be deterred by tuition fees. Read Werner and find out how we could achieve both and how to start David Cameron's new well-being meter whirring. It would make Nick Clegg happier too.
posted by Charles Bazlinton
Read The Free Lunch - Fairness with Freedom - its all about well-being. Amazon or click here

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