From an Un-Caring Economy to a Caring Economy: The Tax Justice Network Podcast, April 2021

Yves here. “Caring economy” may strike readers as too much of a contradiction in terms to be attainable. But even with post-bubble-bust belt-tightening in Japan, the country’s top executives and politicians adopted a model of shared sacrifice. That is a striking contrast with the Anglo-EU approach post the global financial crisis of making sure the rich got into the lifeboats first, and everyone else getting at best haphazard support.

By Naomi Fowler. Originally published at the Tax Justice Network website

Welcome to the latest episode of the Tax Justice Network’s monthly podcast, the Taxcast. You can subscribe either by emailing naomi [at] or find us on your podcast app.

  • Caring for others is the highest thing anyone can do in this world. Yet our governments don’t value care either in the policies they create, and they don’t value it monetarily. We look at how we move from an un-caring economy to a  caring economy, how women’s unpaid work is the greatest subsidy to our so-called productive economy, and how we need to rethink ‘the economic.’
  • Plus – we analyse President Biden’s global minimum tax plans – who wins and who loses? Is it game over for tax havens?

A transcript is available here. (Some is automated and may not be 100% accurate)


Really, we have to begin by rethinking the meaning of life, the meaning of life isn’t about increasing the wealth of the super wealthy, it’s about people and how we interact and how we’re able to care for each other

~ Lynne Segal, the Care Collective

When it comes to markets, there are already alternatives that can help us reimagine forms of economic exchange that are far more equitable and far more caring

~ Andreas Chatzidakis, the Care Collective

What it seems to me President Biden is saying is he wants to reset the programming of the global rules, that’s the rules of globalisation so that they work to the advantage of the working and middle classes. it’s historic actually. But there are some grounds for quibbling…”

~ John Christensen on the US adminstration’s global minimum tax proposals

Further reading:

Image: “black hand | white hand” by mbeo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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  1. JohnB

    My 8am up-all-night question: How do you square Mosler’s 0% corporate tax vision, with the global corporate tax clampdown?

    My impression of the state of things at the moment (even in as monetarily challenging a place as the EU), is that MMT monetary/fiscal policy has already won the day – and that supporters of these policies better start screaming the house down, demanding a Job Guarantee, and highlighting the changed purpose of taxation (which can include 0% Corporate Tax) – before the pandemic ends, and before the temporary EU-medical-exceptions-to-austerity ends as well.

    Nations seem to be pussyfooting around the urgent need for a Job Guarantee and MMT-based economic reform of policy – at a time when MMT seems to have clearly won both the monetary and fiscal portion of the debate. Why are political parties in all nations being so tepid about this? We need this to change ASAP.

    1. Susan the other

      It all needs accounting. I wish I could follow Richard Murphy’s brief description of all the possible loopholes that need to be accounted for with international corporate tax. Maybe that’s one reason Mosler advocates 0% corporate taxes; maybe that and the objection to double taxation becoming triple taxation? But Randall Wray has no qualms advocating taxes. Mostly for balancing an economy and keeping it functioning. Along with a Jobs Guarantee. I don’t know how international corporations are structured, but having watched how much money they need from this and other governments I’d guess that a legitimate tax obligation might put some of them under for good. They’ve never provided the “accounting” Richard Murphy is talking about.

    2. Glen

      MMT seems to be what has been used by the Fed during and since 2008. Unfortunately they give the money to the ultra rich and mega corps. The ultra rich and mega corps have used that money to buy all governments and re-write the rules. Taxation is a method to limit the ultra rich and mega corp political power by limiting their wealth.

      We are standing at the brink and glimpsing into the pit of hell that is mega corp governance. If the current state of American democracy is bad, mega corp governance makes Orwell’s 1984 look like a paradise.

  2. Starry Gordon

    ‘Caring for others is the highest thing anyone can do in this world.’

    There is a serious philosophical difficulty here: the caring can never succeed, can never come to fruition. As Hillel said, ‘If I am not for myself, who can be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I?’

    One might also want to ask if the state, based on violence as it is, ‘the coldest of cold monsters’, is really the best vehicle for caring. Maybe it is the best we can do; but it will have to be watched carefully lest it revert to its essential nature, its roots in the exertion of coercive force.

    In regard to MMT, it seems only that the resources which lend the money value are collected after the money is produced, rather than before. That may make more sense, but money was already pretty fictional. I don’t see any connection with caring, however. You can just print up the money and give it to bankers and brokers and the makers of armaments, which has already been the common practice.

  3. kirk seidenbecker

    Well, it’s pretty simple – have some metric differentiating between earned vs unearned income…

  4. Susan the other

    Do we religiously ignore Putin or does he just go over everybody’s head by using the most accurate word? Putin (last year at Valdai?): ‘The liberal ideology has failed.’ Nobody reads those proceedings and it doesn’t matter anyway because we all still think “liberal” is the be all and end all of civilization. But I’d submit we don’t have much time left to rethink “the meaning of life” and make it function in some modified liberalism. Without loopholes.

  5. ChrisAtRU

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the branding of Capitalism – its veiled vision of shiny baubles belying the fetid rot of exploitation, poverty and misery beneath. Sad but true that it has done such a good job, but not without the complex fabric of media and political propaganda. In trying to figure out way to upend capitalism using similar guile to that which it employs, I think that the caring economy as a euphemism of sorts for socialism is a useful construct. I agree with editors of this site and others who have said that it is not a trivial undertaking to undo the negativity around socialism especially given that there are so many in the population for whom Cold War propaganda rings too true.

  6. Sound of the Suburbs

    A caring economy.
    This is real life capitalism today, and it’s actually quite good.

    My friend runs a small firm and I can see capitalism has a very acceptable face.
    He wants a well oiled machine that runs well.
    There may be big cogs and small cogs, but this machine needs all those cogs turning together.
    He doesn’t want good people to leave, as he knows getting a good replacement is easier said than done. He will pay a good rate for good people to keep them.
    He tries to keep them happy and organises occasional social events for the staff so they feel valued. The last thing he wants is for his staff to think he is just using them, or that he is taking advantage of them.
    This is his money machine and he wants it to run in the best way it possibly can.
    Everyone does well out of this arrangement and he makes lots of money.

    This is good capitalism.
    What are we doing to it to make it so bad?

    We aim to maximise profit, and pass that profit out to shareholders that don’t actually do any of the work.
    There is less to go around for those within the company.

    We start loading companies up with debt.
    Debt repayments suck more money out of the company.
    There is less to go around for those within the company.

    We reward, and incentivise, a few at the top to pass out as much as possible to share holders and in debt repayments.
    There isn’t a lot left for the rest of the workers.

  7. John Anthony La Pietra

    If what we’ve been getting these past dozen years or so is “MMT for the rich people” (human and corporate), then maybe it’s past time to try “MMT for the people”. Which might look something like this . . . or this.

    There would still be the need to make government work for the people. But that’s what our government is supposed to do — unlike corporations, which exist to serve strictly limited clienteles. So (IMO) the public path is the clearer path to a caring — and a lasting — future.

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