The Canadian economy is failing, and conventional economists don't know why. THE CASSANDRA PAPERS argues that conventional economics itself, and the fallacies and errors that are built into it, are the root of the problem. The book analyses these problems, one by one, and offers logical alternatives that could help us get back on the right track.
right mouse click here to download THE CASSANDRA PAPERS as a text file. (Click on "Save link(or Target) as" in the dialog box that comes up - file is 370K so give it a bit of time to download)
The book can also be read online in HTML format. Each chapter is described below in this summary and linked directly. At the end of each chapter is a link to the next chapter so that the book can also be read sequentially.
click here to read the PREFACE
click here to read about OUR PROBLEM
More than a hundred years ago English economist Alfred Marshall established the framework of "neo-classical" economics and established the conceptual framework for the so-called "service economy". He summed up his arguments with the comment that "a lawyer's brief is just as real as a sack of potatoes".
But when farmers produce bumper crops of potatoes the cost of living goes down. When lawyers produce a bumper crop of briefs, the cost of living goes up.
We need services, but the so-called "service economy" is a myth based on a fallacy. MARSHALL'S FALLACY explodes the myth, and explains why the "service economy" does not work.
click here to read the MARSHALL'S FALLACY
In Greek mythology King Midas was offered a favor by the god Dyonisus, and he asked that everything he touched should turn to gold. His wish was granted and everything he touched did turn to gold -- including his wife and daughter, the food he tried to eat and the water he tried to drink.
The story is a warning that gold, and money have no value in themselves. MIDAS' MISTAKE explains the origins and the real meaning of money, and the difference between different types of "money" that circulate in our economy.
click here to read MIDAS' MISTAKE
Some people produce wealth, some trade it and some just take it. THE PREDATORS AMONG US explains the origin and nature of different types of economic activity, and how some legitimate businessmen continue a tradition begun by pirates and highwaymen.
click here to read THE PREDATORS AMONG US
Once upon a time a university degree would get you a soft job with high pay. Now most degrees are a one-way ticket to a lifetime on marginal employment. ARISTOTLE'S AUTHORITY explores the origin of schools, and explains why most conventional education is irrelevant to the modern world.
click here to read ARISTOTLE'S AUTHORITY
When a well known movie star commits suicide, the suicide rate across the nation rises for several weeks. THE WERTHER EFFECT shows how mass media affects the way we think, and how it often leads us astray.
click here to read THE WERTHER EFFECT
Adolph Hitler turned the world upside down with the power of propaganda, and he created a weapon more dangerous than the atomic bomb. We try to control nuclear weapons, but advertising agencies and other propagandists attack our sanity, our civilization and our wallets every day. HITLER'S LEGACY explains how they do it, and how they may destroy us.
click here to read HITLER'S LEGACY
Propaganda can be used for idealistic purposes too, and some idealists make a very good living from it. SELLING IDEAS shows how some idealistic movements have done more harm than good, and how some of them make big bucks for the people who control them.
click here to read SELLING IDEAS
Neo Nazis and other overt hate groups are amateurs. THE HATE MONGERS explains how some elements of the women's movement use lies and hate to make big money for themselves, and how they harm our culture and our economy.
click here to read THE HATE MONGERS
Canada was settled as a colony and many of our economic problems begin with the fact that we never developed an independent economy. NATIONAL AND COLONIAL ECONOMICS explains the difference between an independent and a colonial economy, and why we can no longer afford to remain a colony.
click here to read NATIONAL AND COLONIAL ECONOMICS
The British government backed Canadian confederation for Britain's benefit, and now our federal government wants to maintain it for the government's benefit, but the fact is that most Canadians would be better off without it. MACDONALD'S MESS explains why Quebec and other provinces should be invited to leave confederation, and how we could forge a new union that would serve us all better.
click here to read MACDONALD'S MESS
The global economy is a bonanza for a very few businessmen, but a disaster for the world at large. RICARDO'S RATIONALE explains how international trade impoverishes the first world, how it keeps the third world poor, and how it could destroy us all.
click here to read RICARDO'S RATIONALE
Good news at last! Psychologist Abraham Maslow studied human development and conceived a "hierarchy of needs" that shows us what human beings need to develop properly. MASLOW'S HIERARCHY shows how the same hierarchy can be applied to society, as a guide for development.
click here to read MASLOW'S HIERARCHY
The tragedy of the commons is a basic human problem that has plagued every civilization in history. THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS does not solve it, but it does try to explain it.
click here to read THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS
We're a long way off track and it will take some big changes to revive the Canadian economy, but there is hope. TOWARD A RATIONAL ECONOMY outlines some of the changes we have to make, and proposes a new tax that could raise more money for the government, save money for most of us, and give Canadian industry a fighting chance in the global market.
click here to read TOWARD A RATIONAL ECONOMY
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