We seek to help countries and states recover powers they thought they had lost: powers to implement fair tax policies, to regulate and police their financial sectors appropriately and effectively, to set appropriate wage policies, to tackle inequality, and to implement many other policies their electorates wish for. Too often, politicians shy away from doing these things because they fear these good things will render their economy internationally ‘uncompetitive.’
And yet ‘competitiveness’ is not at all what it seems. Their fears are usually unfounded: the result of false understanding produced by scaremongering, lobbying and woolly thinking. By skewering false consciousness, and by taking an activist attitude towards promoting understanding, we believe we can over time help overturn many entrenched orthodoxies.
We seek over time to build up an expert-led network composed of professionals, academics, activists and others, to expose the false consciousness and assist democracies in recovering powers their leaders thought they had lost. Our methods will above all involve providing new research, debunking false research, and providing strong, original, fearless advocacy. The first phase of this project will focus quite heavily on the United Kingdom, where the Competitiveness Agenda is rampant – but we plan to expand and in due course take particular account of developing countries.
Debates about the underlying economic issues — high or low taxes; more or less financial regulation; and so on — have raged for decades. But we find that “competitiveness” provides a penetrating new lens through which to reinvigorate old debates and open up a major new front in the global battle of ideas.