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Radical Political Economy in a Time of Austerity Dr. John Barry Centre for Progressive Economics, Belfast Political Economy Crisis and opportunity The race to the bottom…. ‘Economic recovery’ Recovery to what? A return to FDI, globalised, competiveness dominated economic growth ‘Race to the bottom’ Radical political economy ‘Radical’ – from the Latin – getting to the root of the problem. So what are the problems and their causes? 1. Poverty, Inequality and social injustice – 2. Employment, jobs and work 3. Ecological problems 4. Quality of life 5. Democratic control over social production Demystifying ‘economics’ Start democratising the economy but demystifying and democratising thinking about ‘economics’ Democratic control.. and a challenge to the trade union movement Which is the greater prize – more well-paid formal employment or … Worker/employee control over economic production itself?....even if this may mean lower wages? Cooperatives or jobs?