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Stuart, 
I have been similarly surprised by the analysis of left economists here in France. The analysis and the proposals of ATTAC and even the PCF (Parti Communiste Franšais) and the NPA (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste) are really far more reformist than many of the proposals of economists that wouldn't consider themselves part of the radical left (I am thinking in particular of Richard Werner, Randy Wray, Michael Hudson, etc).  I have been trying to introduce some of these ideas in these radical left circles, but it seems that people are still very much invested in the dominant ideology at this point  It's a pity, especially considering the fact that just about every regressive policy nowadays is justified by a discourse about debt or finance and given that there are nicely developed progressive perspectives that are not being aired. 
Alex



On Oct 24, 2011, at 11:51 PM, Stuart Newman wrote:

I heard Doug Henwood justify the TARP bailout at the Left Forum in 2010
and was fairly surprised. What surprised me even more was that there
was no real disagreement with this position by the other panelists (other
left economists I believe) or from the audience, at least during the early
portion of the general discussion. I went to the panel seeking arguments
against this maneuver, but there were none to be had there.