- Written by: Kamran Mofid
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U.S. President Barack Obama speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York, September 22, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Dear President Obama,
A Plea for Wisdom and the Common Good
In your speech to the United Nations General Assembly this Autumn, you eloquently stated one of your core beliefs, that while too often peace remains a distant dream: "We can either accept that outcome as inevitable, and tolerate constant and crippling conflict, or we can recognize that the yearning for peace is universal, and reassert our resolve to end conflicts around the world ... For the most powerful weapon in our arsenal is the hope of human beings - the belief that the future belongs to those who would build and not destroy; the confidence that conflicts can end and a new day can begin.'
We share that belief, and urge you to make it your guiding principle in Afghanistan, Iraq and everywhere else that the US is currently militarily involved. We believe that after eight years or more of war we need a whole new approach to conflict resolution and peace building. And we respectfully and prayerfully suggest to you a different strategy that promotes Wisdom and the Common Good by initiating a surge in expenditures in areas such Education, Social Services, Science, Culture and Knowledge, promoting massive humanitarian assistance and sustainable development.
This sort of investment not is only needed in the US itself to reverse many years of neglect and decline with subsequent loss of global competitiveness, but it is desperately needed in Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere else. By doing so, you will make the US again a beacon of hope to many, the US as the peace maker and not the US as the war monger. The world is looking to you, so that one day soon we can all say: Yes We Did, Yes We Did, and made the world a better place with you in the White House.
Dear Mr. President,
The economic and financial crisis has brought education sharply into global focus. Education is a lifetime pursuit and an investment for the future. Education is essential for instilling values necessary to bring about stability, conflict resolution, and replacing violence, fear and ignorance with hope and purpose. Humanity’s best hope is always served best with access to quality and affordable education. Today, education is truly global. We now must try to combine our national and global interests, bringing ideas and resources together for the common good. Globalisation is affecting all aspects of our lives. We should understand how globalisation is changing education systems today, and how best to prepare our young people to learn and succeed in a globalised world. It is vital to understand the issues associated with education’s response to globalisation.
The sharing of knowledge, ideas and values is the noblest way to transcend barriers. As such, global education is potentially an immensely powerful tool, helping people from all nations develop dynamic societies, open to dialogue and innovative solutions for tomorrow. The foremost challenges are to work together towards greater mutual respect and understanding, promote increased access and equality throughout the world and prepare students for their role as global citizens. In response to these challenges, we should aim to address several major concerns: for example, inclusiveness, respect for gender equity and cultural diversity, and the internationalisation of content and delivery to prepare students for a global economy and society.
We must all realize that there must be another way in conducting the world’s affairs, moving away from poverty, hopelessness, anger, fear, terrorism and wars to peace, harmony, hope and purpose. But, sadly the impact of the economic crisis on higher education has been profound and devastating. Already, our HE and FE institutions have faced continually decreasing funding from governments at all levels. With the global financial meltdown, it is likely that higher educational institutions will face harder times. Now that education at all levels is poised to be the “whipping boy” of budgetary allocations in the face of the meltdown, what bail out options are available for this and other similar sectors?
There are tens of millions of young people around the world, between the ages of 18 and 25-many with degrees who are unable to find suitable employment or are under-employed. They are not the guilty ones. They did not cause the "meltdown", thus, why is it that they are paying for the crimes of others? They are left with massive debts, student loans and more, with their hopes and dreams shattered. On top of this, fees have been raised significantly, loans have become more expensive and harder to obtain, departments and courses being closed, new buildings and refurbishments stopped, professors losing jobs, contracts of the part-time instructors not renewed, classes getting larger, staff-student ratios rising rapidly,...Need I say more?
How will all this impact education? Where do we go from here? What we need now, what the world is crying loud for, after decades of war, terrorism, death and destruction, financial crises, and more is surely a new strategy calling for “The Humanitarian and Development Surge”, highlighting a new path, a new direction with a new moral, ethical and spiritual compass. Therefore, in order to enable us to create a better world, securing democracy, freedom and prosperity for all, we propose to establish the Education Fund for Action on the Global Common Good. A Fund to bring the people of the world together to do something extraordinary, so that we all become stakeholders, rising to the challenges facing all of us, tackling conflict, disease, global warming, terrorism and poverty.
By working together on a shared cause, we will be part of a larger movement to build trust, understanding and respect between the world’s civilizations and peoples, without which, it will be impossible to heal our world. The Fund will allow us to implement our mission by coordinating our efforts to influence policies, practices, research, and interventions in a manner to bring about a more socially just and ecologically balanced world for our children and grandchildren. We strongly believe that Education is our pathway to equal dignity and global peace.
Dear Mr. President, with a fraction of the sums spent on wars the US can make this possible. This fund will ensure the realisation of the true American Dream which is indeed the dream of all the world over. This is surely what most Americans and the rest of the world could expect from a President who is the Nobel Peace Laureate.
With all God's blessings for your good health and a fruitful, rewarding presidency,
Kamran Mofid PhD (ECON)
- Founder, Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative
- Co-editor, Journal of Globalisation for the Common Good
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
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My views on what has gone wrong with the so-called modern economics and the economists who have brought shame to their profession are well documented.
For example see:
I am now pleased that the real-world economics review has identified the top ten mad ones, including two in two-pairs. They have brought us indeed a very bad harvest and have destroyed economics as a wise subject for years to come.
Please see below for more and try to vote to see who the guiltiest of them is! This is very important, as the real-world economics review has noted:
"It is accepted fact that the economics profession through its teachings, pronouncements and policy recommendations facilitated the GFC (Global Financial Collapse). We also know that danger signs became visible long before the event and that some economists (those with their eyes on the real-world) gave public warnings which if acted upon would have averted the human disaster.
With other learned professions entrusted with public confidence, such as medicine and engineering, it is inconceivable that their professional bodies would not at the very least censure members who had successfully persuaded governments and public opinion to ignore elementary safety measures, so causing epidemics and widespread building collapses.
To date, however, the world’s major economics associations have declined to censure the major facilitators of the GFC or even to publicly identify them. This silence, this indifference to causing human suffering, constitutes grave moral failure. It also gives license to economists to continue to indulge in axiom-happy behaviour. Nor has the economics establishment offered recognition to those economists who were not taken in by fads and fashion and whose competence, if listened to, would have prevented the collapse.
These two silences reveal a continuing moral crisis within the economics profession. The Ignoble and Noble Prizes for Economics are being offered as small first steps towards a cure. Voting is now open for the Ignoble Prize for Economics The Ignoble Prize for Economics is to be awarded to the three economists who contributed most to enabling the Global Financial Collapse (GFC)
Voting is ultra quick and easy. Click here and you will see the ballot. Click on your three choices and then the big yellow “vote” button.
22 economists were nominated for the prize. Through consultation with contributors to the Real-World Economics Review Blog, the following short list of ten, including two pairs of economists, has been selected for the ballot.
Dossiers of short-listed of nominees for the Ignoble Prize for Economics
Fischer Black and Myron Scholes
They jointly developed the Black-Scholes model which led to the explosive growth of financial derivatives. The importance given to their hypothetical calculation of derivative prices was baneful not just because it was bogus, but also because it meant that relevant and often urgent real-world economic research was widely neglected by the profession. Eugene Fama His “efficient market theory” provided the moral umbrella for all sorts of greed, predatory behaviour and incompetent corporate management. It also provided the rationale for deregulation. And his theory’s widespread acceptance meant that “discussion of investor irrationality, of bubbles, of destructive speculation had virtually disappeared from academic discourse.” In these three ways Fama’s work created the environment which made possible the GFC.
He propagated the delusion, through his misunderstanding of the scientific method, that an economy can be accurately modeled using counterfactual propositions about its nature. This, together with his simplistic model of money, encouraged the development of the financial theories with unrealistic assumptions that facilitated the GFC. In short, he opened the door for everyone subsequently to theorize without fear of having to be attached to reality.
As Chairman of the Federal Reserve System from 1987 to 2006, he both led the over expansion of money and credit that created the bubble that burst and aggressively promoted the view that financial markets are naturally efficient and in no need of regulation. Before a Congressional committee on 28 October 2008 Greenspan confessed that his theoretical beliefs of 40 years were now proven to be without foundation, hence his total confusion and failure at his job.
By working to make the Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences (“Nobel Prize in Economics”) almost exclusively a prize for neoclassical economists, this Swedish economist has contributed significantly to the conversion of the economics profession and of world public opinion to market fundamentalism.
His development of the rational expectations hypothesis, which defined rationality as the capacity to accurately predict the future, both served to maintain Friedman's proposition that monetary factors do not affect the real economy and, in the name of “rigor”, distanced economics even further from reality than Friedman had thought possible.
As Secretary-General of the Royal Economic Society from 1992-2008, he helped suppress worries expressed by non-mainstream economists about developments in the financial sector. In 2007 he wrote a Report for the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce giving a clean bill of health to Icelandic banks only a few months before they collapsed. When investigators called attention to the real state of Icelandic banking, he wrote a series of letters to the Financial Times defending the soundness of Icelandic banks and imputing professional incompetence to those who doubted it.
Edward Prescott and Finn Kydland
For jointly developing and popularizing “Real Business Cycle” theory, which by omitting the role of credit greatly diminished the economics profession’s understanding of dynamic macroeconomic processes.
Through his textbook Economics: An Introductory Analysis (19 English language editions and translated into 40 languages), he popularized neoclassical economics, contributing more than any other economist to its diffusion and thereby to the deregulation of financial markets which made possible the GFC.
As US Secretary of the Treasury (formerly an economist at Harvard and the World Bank), he worked successfully for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which since the Great Crash of 1929 had kept deposit banking separate from casino banking. He also worked with Greenspan and Wall Street interests to torpedo efforts to regulate derivatives.
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
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Announcing the 9th Annual International Conference
Call for Presentations
“In Search of the Virtuous Economy: A Plea for Dialogue, Wisdom, and the Common Good”
6-10 June 2010
California Lutheran University
Thousand Oaks, California
Globalization for the Common Good: An Interfaith Perspective
Ninth Annual Conference
California Lutheran University is delighted to announce that it will host
the ninth annual conference of Globalization for the Common Good
The Event will be a featured part of California Lutheran University’s
2010 celebration of 50 years as a university
The conference will also be the ninth in the annual international series, under the auspices of Globalization for the Common Good – An Interfaith Perspective
(founded by Dr. Kamran Mofid)
This major global conference is being convened by Dr. Kamran Mofid, Founder, Globalisation for the Common Good and Dr. Jamshid Damooei, Co-director, Center for Leadership and Values, School of Business, California Lutheran University.
Previous conferences have been held in Oxford (2002), St. Petersburg (2003), Dubai (2004), Kericho, Kenya (2005), Honolulu (2006), Istanbul (2007), Melbourne (2008), and Chicago (2009).
For background information on the initiative and details of previous conferences, visit: http://www.globalisationforthecommongood.info/.
California Lutheran University: http://www.callutheran.edu/
Center for Leadership and Values, School of Business, California Lutheran University: http://www.callutheran.edu/CLV/
Globalisation for the Common Good, Chicago 2009: http://www.gcgchicago2009.info
To access the online Journal of Globalization for the Common Good, visit http://www.commongoodjournal.com/.
Call for Presentations
Similar to previous conferences, the 2010 event promises to be especially significant and timely. Today, when global conditions can only be described as “complex and perplexing”, a combined effort and collective thinking is needed to find ways to overcome the challenge brought about by the global socio/economic and political crises.
Today, our world is challenged by a changing climate, financial and banking crisis, sleaze and lack of transparency in private and public life, hunger and pandemic disease, war and terrorism, armaments and unprecedented violence and insecurity, amongst others.
What can make a difference? Good ideas, Creativity, Passion, Innovation, Wisdom, Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance, Justice, and notably knowing and serving the Common Good.
It is our task to ensure that people everywhere know that there are serious alternatives to the world’s present failing policies, rules and institutions, and that there are likeminded global citizens who share a vision of hope and the common good that can lift them out of the deep sense of powerlessness and despair that is now affecting so many parts of the world.
Moreover, while the central focus is on solutions to the global economic and financial crisis, we should keep in mind the deeper questions that rarely find their way into political debate or public discourse, matters that are deeply ethical and spiritual: What is the source of true happiness and well-being? What is the purpose of economic life? What is the good life? What does it mean to be a human being living on a spaceship with finite resources?
The Conference main theme and focus is on our search of the virtuous economy, leading by wisdom, doing well by doing good, creating a world that works for all. Other thematic areas will also be addressed. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
- The meaning and Practice of wisdom, virtues and Service as the basis of a Trustful and affective Leadership.
- Various religions and spiritual philosophies on economy, globalisation, environment, peace and justice.
- Causes and Solutions of the Global Financial Crisis.
- Global Repercussions of the Financial Crisis.
- Fundamental Defects of the Free Market System.
- The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Developing Countries.
- Accounting & Financial Regulations.
- The US Domestic Financial System and the Need for Reform.
- Government and/or Private Sector Response to the Financial Crisis.
- Gender Equity.
- Human Health and Well-being.
- Environmental Stewardship.
- Rural Development.
- Cultural Diversity.
- Interreligious Dialogue.
- Human Security.
- Sustainable Urbanisation.
- Hunger, Poverty, Pandemic Disease.
- The Preservation and Replenishment of the Commons.
- Sustainable Production and Consumption.
- How to Harness Greed and How to Nurture the Common Good.
Instructions for Submission of Papers
We invite proposals from activists, organizers, officials, scholars, post-grad/ doctoral students, and others specializing in a range of disciplines, including, education, theology, philosophy, ethics, history, political science, international relations, conflict analysis and peace research, economics, business studies, law, sociology, media studies and journalism, psychology, health sciences and medicine, environmental studies and geography. Contributions are also invited from persons in government, civil society, diplomacy, law, the media, the health professions and business, as well as those involved in religious and Interreligious dialogue. Proposals that adopt an interdisciplinary, intercultural or Interreligious perspective are especially welcome.
Proposals should be received no later than Sunday, February 21st, 2010. Of course, the earlier your proposal is received, the better your chances for acceptance. We are receiving submissions now.
Proposals should include:
- Title of proposed presentation.
- A 250-word abstract, highlighting the proposal’s relevance to one or other of the key themes outlined above.
- Author’s name and institutional affiliation; as well as an up-to 50 words biographical note on the presenter. Please include your website, if available.
All proposals will be assessed by an inter-disciplinary panel appointed by the joint conveners, and applicants will be informed of the Organizing Committee’s decision in March 2010.
Successful applicants will be given two weeks to confirm their participation.
The Conference Organizing Committee must receive by May 1, 2010 any written papers (approximate length 3,000 to 5,000 words) or other presentation materials for distribution to Conference delegates. The Conference’s working language is English. It is planned to produce one or more international publications drawing on high quality papers selected by the joint conveners’ interdisciplinary panel.
Those selected to make a presentation will be required to pay the registration fee. Please note that travel arrangements and costs are the responsibility of participants or their sponsoring institutions. The Conference Conveners are not able to offer financial support. However, the overall costs will be subsidized, enabling many to attend.
- February 21st, 2010: Presentation proposals due. **Early submissions are very much welcomed.
- March 2010: Notification of accepted presentations. Final confirmation by presenters should be received within two weeks of notification of acceptance.
- May 1, 2010: Written papers to be received.
Please submit proposals, preferably as Word document, and any questions to:
Jamshid Damooei, PhD
Co-Convener, GCG 2010 Conference
Professor of Economics and Chair
Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting
Co-director, Center for Leadership and Values
California Lutheran University
Ph: +1 805 493-3357
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org