Fri 1/6 & Sat 1/7: Occupy Chicago, CACHE, and URPE Organize to ‘Occupy the AEA’ and Speak Out Against Moral, Intellectual and Academic Bankruptcy



Fri. 1/6
12:30 – Rally and Political Theater (Michigan and Wacker)
2:30 – URPE  March (Gather at 17 E Monroe) to Rally (Michigan and Wacker)
3:30-5:30 – People’s Economic Conference, Roosevelt University (430 S Michigan 3rd floor)
Sat. 1/7
12:00-3:00 – People’s Economic Conference Roosevelt University (430 S Michigan 3rd floor) 
 4:30 – Mock Awards Ceremony (Michigan and Wacker)
Chicago 1/5 -- The 2012 Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) national conference will be held Jan. 6-8 in Chicago, with an agenda strongly influenced by the American Economic Association (AEA). For decades the AEA has fostered a narrow, free-market orthodoxy in the economics profession. 
Unlike other professional organization, the AEA has no code of ethics and its members no incentive to disclose the source of research funding or other conflicts of interest. Some members presenting at this year’s conference, including John Campbell, chairman of Harvard Economics Department, were featured defending the status quo even as the global economy went into a tailspin in the Oscar winning documentary “Inside Job” directed by Charles Ferguson.
"Members of the AEA who put their own self-interest and that of the 1% above a functioning economy for all are making the AEA morally, intellectually, and academically bankrupt,” says David Orlikoff, film critic and Occupy Chicago organizer. “Profiteering AEA members of both parties move between academia and government, spinning failed free-market theory, and are essentially subsidized by the 1% and the politicians they fund. This corrupt system leads to failed ideas such as trickle-down theory, austerity and low capital gains tax rates. The data are in, and the results are disastrous for our country.”

Occupy Chicago, the Coalition Against Corporate Higher Education (CACHE) and the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) plan to ‘Occupy the AEA’ and challenge their stranglehold of the economic debate.
"I was excited to learn about the URPE and that there are economists who are critical to the failed economic, academic theories of Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan,' says Marty Donakowski, a graduate student and member of CACHE. "It is inspiring and elating that there are active economic theorists who advocate on behalf of the common good, especially in the face of the current recession."
On Friday and Saturday, Roosevelt University will host the People’s Economic Conference, a series of workshops highlighting divergent and alternative views which offer concrete solutions to the country’s economic problems. Speakers will include Steve Zarlenga, Director of the American Monetary Institute; Nancy Folbre, Professor of Economics at UMass-Amherst; Stephen Marglin, Professor holding the Walter S. Barker Chair in the Department of Economics at Harvard University.
On Friday at 12:30, while the conference participants are exiting the Hyatt Regency to dine with colleagues in fancy downtown restaurants, Occupy the AEA will invite them to instead talk with a member of the 99% about the true effect of their neo-liberal economic policies on the people while enjoying some RAHM-en noodles—our treat.
Then at 2:30, the URPE will march from its luncheon conference at Palmer House (17 E Monroe St) to Michigan and Wacker to rally and speak out against the AEA and its theories.  Chris Tilly from the URPE and Ron Baiman from CPEG will speak. 
"We demand that the AEA adopt a code of ethics as a group of AEA members has recently proposed," says Chris Sturr, editor of Dollars & Sense, the 37-year-old magazine of popular economics. "We also demand that the AEA take steps to broaden the debate in the profession beyond the free-market orthodoxy that continues to benefit the 1% to the detriment of the 99%."
On Saturday at 4:30, while the AEA is delivering its awards to mainstream economists for successfully ignoring reality, CACHE leads Occupy the AEA in holding its own awards ceremony honoring those whose policies have tanked the economy and helped destroy the lives of working families. 
Full People's Economic Conference schedule:
Friday 1/6, 3:30-5:30 at Roosevelt University (430 S Michigan 3rd floor)
3:30-4:30 - "The Political Economy of Human Capital" with Nancy Folbre, Professor of Economics at UMass-Amherst and works with the Center for Popular Economics.
4:30-5:30 - "Monetary Reform" with Steve Zarlenga, Director American Monetary Institute, author "The Lost Science of Money", author of the "American Monetary Act" that is now before Congress as the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (NEED) sponsored by Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers that calls for the nationalization of the Federal Reserve under the Department of Treasury, and the elimination of fractional reserve lending.
Saturday 1/7 12-3pm at Roosevelt University (430 S Michigan 3rd floor)
12-12:45pm - "Economics, Economists, and the Matter of Harm" George DeMartino, Professor of international economics at the University of Denver.
12:45-1:45 - "More jobs, better jobs: Can we have both?  Can we have either?" Chris Tilly, Professor in the Urban Planning department and director of UCLA's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.
2-3pm - "Rethinking Economics" Stephen Marglin, Professor of Economics at Harvard University holding the Walter S. Barker Chair in the Department. 
Statement from URPE supporting the Occupy movement: