Robin Eric Hahnel (born March 25, 1946) is an American economist and Professor of Economics at Portland State University. He was a professor at American University for many years and traveled extensively advising on economic matters all over the world. He is best known for his work on participatory economics with Z Magazine editor Michael Albert.
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- The fall of communism confirms century-old libertarian claims that equity and justice cannot be imposed by force, that interpreting "to each according to work" as "to each according to the marginal revenue product of one's labor" rationalizes privilege, and that central planning stifles workers' creative potentials. Clearly, enterprises whose inputs and outputs have been determined by a central planning procedure exclude workers and consumers from decision making, separate conceptual and manual tasks, and offer unequal consumption and work opportunities. For the Soviet, East German, Polish, Czechoslovakian, and Hungarian people to reject these injustices is encouraging. But it is dishonest to say this demonstrates that capitalism is optimal. It only bespeaks a lack of alternatives.
- Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel. The political economy of participatory economics. Princeton University Press, 1991. p. 3
- Under central planning neither planners, managers, nor workers had incentives to promote the social economic interest. Nor did impeding markets for final goods to the planning system enfranchise consumers in meaningful ways. But central planning would have been incompatible with economic democracy even if it had overcome its information and incentive liabilities. And the truth is that it survived as long as it did only because it was propped up by unprecedented totalitarian political power.
- Robin Hahnel, The ABC's of Political Economy, (2002) London: Pluto Press. p. 262.
Panic Rules!: Everything You Need to Know about the Global Economy, 1999
Robin Hahnel (1999), Panic Rules!: Everything You Need to Know about the Global Economy. South End Press.
- Recognizing that the current form of globalization is nothing more than a generalized downward leveling in which global corporations are extracting more and more of the wealth, power, and productive energies from communities and the environment is the right approach. Recognizing that our response must be nothing less than upward leveling that does entail the transfer of resources, power, wealth, and knowledge from the world's haves to the world's have-nots is the right approach.
- p. 103
- And knowing that in every specific battle, what we are fighting for is merely the substitution of the human agenda for the corporate agenda is what can guide and sustain us.
- p. 103
- We should know that only replacing the economics of competition and greed with the economics of equitable cooperation will guarantee a globalization that takes advantage of potential efficiency gains in ways that also promote environmental protection, international equity, economic democracy, and variety.
- p. 105-6