How CofFEE becomes latte

When you order latte in Holland, the Dutch term is ‘koffie verkeerd’, which translates as ‘wrong coffee’. Proper coffee clearly doesn’t have milk (or perhaps a few drops but certainly not as much). Tastes differ but it is a tell-tale that latte is labelled as wrong coffee.

In economics there is a research group calling themselves CofFEE, or the Center of Full Employment and Equity, at the University of Newcastle, Australia. They collaboratie with the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability (CFEPS) at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, USA. Perhaps the suggestion is that the University of Chicago is the Center of Unemployment and/or Inequity and/or Price Instability.

Full employment is a key Human Right, and full employment is cheaper than giving benefits to the unemployed. Thus full employment is a no-brainer. That nations do not have full employment is a sign of failures in the policy making process. CofFEE presents a rather unattractive form of full employment, labelled the ‘job guarantee’. A better form that mainstream economists will tend to like uses my analysis on the tax void and the dynamic marginal tax rate. Apparently Economic Supreme Courts are required for democratic nations to prevent the failures in policy making.

My suggestion is that things are not okay in Holland. Does this apply in this case too ? Unfortunately it does. No exception on no-brainers. There exists CofFEE-Europe, located at Maastricht University, where there is a problem. Because of this problem, CofFEE turns into latte (invent your own abbreviation). Full employment, i.e. a basic approach on employment, is turned into a weak derivative with perhaps a cult status for a minority of the fancy but unconvincing for the mainstream.

Professor Bill Mitchell of CofFEE presented his unattractive form of full employment at the EU Commission, see this video. The chair is by Koos Richelle, Director General for the European Commission’s DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, who happens to be a Dutchman. See this video with Richelle’s approach to the issues, which shows that he would be interested in a sound argument for full employment. Thus, Mitchell’s presentation at the EU was a missed opportunity of economic science to present that sound argument.

Where did economic science go wrong ? Well, there is censorship of science at the Dutch Central Planning Bureau (CPB) since 1990, and there is the refusal of Dutch professors of economics to protest against this. One of these professors is Joan Muysken in Maastricht at CofFEE-Europe. He didn’t study my analysis and may not have told Bill Mitchell about it. In that manner the flow of information gets stuck. In that manner a no-brainer turns into not using our brains.

In 1990, at the CPB, I wrote this paper on unemployment with the advice of a parliamentary enquiry. I actually was invited by professor Muysken to present it in Maastricht. Given the lack of response since then I infer that he may have read the paper but did not study my analysis. The paper was blocked by the directorate of the CPB, with no internal discussion and external publication, and I was dismissed with lies and an abuse of power.

In 1998 I collaborated with journalists Hans Hulst and Auke Hulst in a Dutch booklet on unemployment and poverty, with the title Werkloosheid en armoede, de oplossing die werkt’, Thela Thesis, Amsterdam. The booklet was targetted at a general audience and referred to my scientific papers for the evidence. There is also a state newspaper in Holland in which the government must print its laws to have them become effective, the ‘Staatscourant’. It so happened that professor Muysken wrote a review of the booklet for that Staatscourant. In summary, he enjoys that the issue of full employment is put on the table again, but dismisses the analysis in the booklet as insufficiently scientific. However, he did not study the underlying analysis and evidence. Now this is quite silly and rather sick. The booklet is for a general audience, thus it should not be treated as a scientific exposition. The booklet was intended to raise the attention level of the general public and to draw attention of my fellow economists to the underlying studies. By declaring that the analysis was inadequate professor Muysken killed those prospects. Curiously, Muysken did not respond to my reply on this and my invitation to study the underlying work. Curiously, he hasn’t done so in 1998-2012, even though there is DRGTPE since 2000 that integrates the analysis, and even though there is an economic crisis since August 2007 that confirms the analysis. I haven’t read the Mitchell & Muysken (2008) book since its summary suggests an inferior analysis to DRGTPE, and my bet is that they do not refer to DRGTPE.

What is it, that causes Dutch professors of economics to be so unscientific ? It is not that they are mere human beings, that is too easy. Yet it is something that a good boycott of the country may help to resolve. Perhaps you want to read this weblog entry again, with a good cup of coffee to get your brain working.


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