The economy of the common home

The economy of the common home

Within the framework of the Latin American Week of the Network for the Care of the Common Home The different public universities sought time to reflect, in this context of budget adjustment and poverty in Argentina. Looking ahead to April 23, these activities that were held between teachers and students to think and rethink the current situation of the public universities and care of the common homebased on the conservation that the S Anto Padre with the rectors of the universities of Latin America and the Caribbean on September 21, 2023. Public university from where public policies emanate under the axis of maintaining a language: harmony of the head, the heart and the hand. Creative in the face of challenges and not just informative. The exchange has a current potential that deserves to be developed step by step.

The starting point was the natural resources, nature and their transformation by industries. This would be the one who would take charge of a transformation of nature under industrialization in the style of the 19th and 20th centuries or develop another way of industrializing that accompanies nature and does not deepen “the culture of throwaway.”

What to do with the Guarani aquifer, the Amazons, the training of leaders and excessive ambition in society? Will foreign monopolies industrialize our nature or will it be based on national capabilities and geographic needs coordinated by the community? The answer to this is in the universities that, as the Pope suggests, train “leaders, integral professionals” that allow the “organization of hope.”

What has been raised refers to political economy and development planning, a debate that should be had in our houses of higher education.

Because in these times it is still taught that “economics is the administration of scarce resources”, a definition that David Ricardo had refuted in 1816 in his book Principles of Political Economy and Taxation” since he emphasizes that the object of studies of political economy must be reproducible commodities that can be applied labor. Work creates value. Work as a community organizer. But if work is not created, then there is no economic or social order. What threatens this desired order? The fiscal adjustment, the increase in rates, the adjustment of salaries, which in these three already resulted in an increase in poverty. Which goes against the maxim of a thinker like Alberdi “to govern is to populate”, in the sense that “to populate is to educate, improve, civilize, enrich and enlarge spontaneously and quickly, as has happened in the United States”. The budgetary adjustment in the university – and the community – is clearly an attack not only against education because “without the university there is no science.” This development of science and technology articulated with the productive sector is what allows a nation to be “enriched” and “great.”

We return to this idea of ​​”United States”, the distribution of land – distribution, reform – was for those who worked it, although that meant the advance to the west and south, banishing the indigenous communities for the settlement of the Farmers, a pillar of the American society. In the Argentine case, with the same advance as the south, the distribution of land was for a handful of families, in the case of Patagonia (Bullrich Puerreydon, Anchorena, Braun Menendez, Martinez de Hoz, etc.).

The government has to plan its economic policy, the government must “organize hope”, if it does not do so, the community itself must do so, where one of its pillars is the public university. In the face of the economic and social crisis, educational institutions can provide solutions, conditioning their development and space is just accepting that the solution will come from “outside.” The outside is a product that contains science and technology, developed by a company (public-private, private). What the president called Benefactor Monopoly in Davos. Monopolies do not plan based on social results, they demonstrated this throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Why would they do it now?

In this debate, who industrializes and how, they also added other relevant points for the care of the common home, a criticism of economic theories that never “land” that are only abstractions, such as “ordering the macro.” The Pope proposes to make “mess in the universities” which is nothing other than opening to dialogue, debate, enriching critical thinking of the current critical economic and social moment.

The degradation process has to do with the prevailing “ethics”, President Javier Milei as a representative of a nation commented in an interview that “the adjustment will be paid for by politics and not the people.” The devaluation of December 2023 implied a spike in prices, salary adjustment, since the government proposes that salaries be updated below inflation, plus an increase in rates (fuel, earnings coming, school fees, etc.) . In Argentina in 2015 there were around 2.5 million people in this situation. The management of Macri-Caputo-Dujovne-Sturzenegger-Bullrich and Marco Peña Braun doubled hunger in Argentina, between 2020-2023 hunger did not grow, but it remained constant, with these measures by the Milei-Macri government hunger and poverty has grown. This is how an ethic of lies is built. Did they close the central bank? That it was the cause of inflation, no, they say that they are cleaning it up while this first quarter the public debt increased by 16,000 million dollars. Is it because of the increase in debt that is adjusted for inflation. Under inflation? No, it is at 288% (Mar24).

However, the Pope asked the rectors to convey to the students “do not be afraid to dialogue about politics”, you cannot be “a laboratory student, thinking about politics as a noble function because it carries out development processes, “They have to get involved in the discussion and be trained in politics with the values ​​that the University teaches.” Politics to serve, not to take advantage.

Another point of this conversation was rethinking John Paul II who said: Social Market Economy, Market Social Justice. Which makes it clear that “Without social justice, the development of a country or a person cannot be considered.”

Lastly, as the economist Lucia Cirmi defines it in her book, “Economy to sustain life“, we can synthesize care and work: “Care work includes the tasks we do inside and outside the home to care for other dependent people (children and older adults) or other independent people, from cleaning the house, ironing, cooking, to accompanying children to school, to grandparents to the doctor, taking care of a sick family member or simply not leaving someone alone at home. It includes both the tasks of direct care of others (for example, of a baby) and the management of care (the contracting of services). These are the tasks necessary to maintain the home as a possible place from which to go out to work and also to prepare the future workforce from there.”

This takes up the tradition of political economy that “liberals” such as Richard Cantillon discussed in chapter She dedicates herself to caring for her children due to illnesses and feeding off the land, the food that these children need to grow. While the government increases salaries, today there are children in poverty with food problemsit will be a future with less prepared and trained workforce that may not be able to access public universities.

By Ernesto Matos

Source: Ambito

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