I attended the launch of the Progressive Economy Forum in the House of Commons last evening. I will be at its first council meeting today.
The Forum is a joint venture between CLASS (The Centre for Labour and Social Studies, of whose advisory board I am a member) and London based solicitor Patrick Allen, who is sponsoring its work.
As the Forum says on its new web site:
The Progressive Economy Forum (PEF) is a group of economists who have come together to launch a new macroeconomic programme, founded on the progressive values of equality, dynamism and sustainability.
To this end, the Forum aims to develop, advocate and disseminate progressive policy ideas for the UK economy. PEF also seeks to inform the public, policy makers, politicians, activists and the media of the principles of progressive macroeconomics, and of the possibilities offered by this new programme.
We will represent a diversity of views and encourage innovative analysis, sharing the following principles:
- Economically informed citizens are essential to effective policy-making in a democratic society.
- A strong public sector that provides essential social services, such as health, education, transport and housing, is the foundation of a fair society.
- Active macroeconomic management, fully accountable to citizens, is key to achieving an equitable, dynamic and sustainable economy.
The twelve founding economists of the Forum are:
- Dr Ha Joon Chang
- Ann Pettifor
- Prof Daniela Gabor
- Prof John Weeks
- Lord Robert Skidelsky
- Dr Johna Montgomerie
- Prof Stephany Griffith-Jones
- Will Hutton
- Prof Simon Wren-Lewis
- Prof Danny Dorling
- Prof Guy Standing
- Prof Richard Murphy.
At the very least we should have some interesting discussion, but I am hoping for a lot more than that, with a focus on creating accessible materials to increase understanding of how the economy really works.