Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble and the former finance minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, seemed to have never really understood each others views and positions. We are convinced one important reason for this is the lack of a shared paradigm that would be powerful enough to integrate both – seemingly entirely opposite – positions on economic policy in the Eurozone that Schäuble and Varoufakis each represent.
The EU and the Eurozone are in deep crisis. So are orthodox and heterodox economics. While orthodox neoclassical economics have “no room for money” and nothing to say about financial crises and deflationary depressions, heterodox Post Keynesians do better in that regard but lack a shared paradigm. They also lack a systematic and precise legal foundation, without which the numerous institutional flaws of the Eurozone and the EU cannot be detected. Some Post Keynesians, notably Modern Monetary Theorists, notice the lack of sovereign taxing power at the Eurozone level. The lack of private (property and contract) law and a weak, patrimonial state infrastructure in general in parts of the southern periphery, Post Keynesians typically overlook. Only some neoclassical institutional economists perceive this, but they in turn typically overlook the lack of federal taxing power at the Eurozone level.
Some people admonish that a “political union” would have had to precede the monetary union, but what specifically a “political union” would entail – a federal european state holding the legitimate monopoly of force on european territory – is left in the dark. A precise comparative look at how such loose confederations of states historically arrived at federal unions is missing entirely, since both neoclassical and post keynesian economists work with abstract universalist models and show deliberate disinterest in history and the historical specificity of capitalism. Continue reading “Legal Institutionalism: The Public/Private Law dialectic, Accounting and Post Keynesian Monetary Macroeconomics”