Book Review

Katherine Trebeck, George Kerevan and Stephen Boyd, Tackling Timorous Economics – How Scotland’s Economy Could Work Better for Us All, Luath Press, £9.99, pp126, 1910021377 

This book outlines a critique of conventional economics. It suggests that post-Brexit, Scotland is at a crossroads where it can continue to ignore what ‘people and planet need’ or really engage with communities and create a new economics for Scotland. The three authors address different aspects of this failure to address people and planet’s needs. Trebeck addresses the inequalities that underlie our society and the extreme poverty prevalent and asks why we tolerate poverty and environmental damage? Why not deliver a more equal, more humane and more sustainable society in the first place by making the economy circular and shared? Boyd looks at the roots of inequality and the differences between this and poverty. He looks at how tax is ignored in addressing poverty and how it could be used to mitigate it. He also examines the role of financialisation in creating an economy at odds with the people. He ends by examining the failure of the Scottish Parliament to address these issues. Kerevan looks at the nature of twenty first century capitalism, the problems of too much capital, too low wages and too few jobs. He suggests how tax, shorter hours and socialised investment could begin to address this. This is very much an introduction to the issues addressed and includes widespread references. It claims to be only an opening gambit in creating a new Scottish political economy and encourages further discussion and debate using the Brexit discussions as a pretext for such discussions.

Gordon Morgan is a member of the Scottish Left Review editorial committee