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This site was flooded by a large number of spam users at the same time as I became unable to maintain my own role in discussions here, since I am just too damn busy in London. This has caused the site to be suspended three times by its ISP for performance issues. One more time and the account will be banned. I have therefore decided to delete all users on this site, bar those who have made posts (which is a handful of individuals of course).
I’m taking part in a debate on one of the major topics in this year’s election, Brexit, on May 31st at 7.30pm at Canham, 40 Sheen Lane, London SW148LW. The other speakers are Frances Coppola, and Angus Armstrong.
Frances Coppola is an economic commentator in print and frequently on the BBC.
Angus Armstrong is director of macro-economics at one of the top research institutions, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research founded in 1938.
In 2008, conventional economics led us blindfolded into the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Almost a decade later, with the global economy wallowing in low growth that they can’t explain, mainstream economists are reluctantly coming to realise that their models are useless for understanding the real world.
As I explain in this video, government attempts to turn University entrance into a marketplace have had the unintended side-effect of undermining pluralist economics. The UK government has removed controls on the number of places that Universities can offer in first year courses, and as a result there has been an increase in humanities places offered by highly ranked Universities. Final year high school students have flocked to these Universities, and enrolments at lower-ranked Universities have fallen substantially.
A new organisation called NEKS (for “New Economic Knowledge Services”, see www.neks.ltd) is holding its inaugural conference on the economics of infrastructure In Westminster on Tuesday January 24th, and you should attend.
Why NEKS, and why Infrastructure? The economic importance of infrastructure is obvious, but the actual performance of infrastructure often differs radically from what is predicted when it is being planned. Three forms of delusion make many infrastructure projects far less beneficial than expected by their proponents: the complexity of execution is underestimated, the benefits are overestimated, and benefits are also calculated poorly using dodgy economic theory.
This is a talk I gave in Amsterdam to launch the Amsterdam Rethinking Economics critique of the current state of economics “education” in the Netherlands. The text of my slides is reproduced below.
I’ve had some tough interviews over the years (such as the BBC HARDtalk! interview earlier this year with Stephen Sackur), but I’d have to credit the student interviewers at the University of Amsterdam’s Room for Discussion event with giving me the toughest, well-informed grilling my ideas have had in public. I’m following up later today with a keynote speech at the Dutch Rethinking Economics event tonight, and I’ll post that here later this week.
Apparently it’s the fifth anniversary of the day I gave this talk, to the Occupy movement in Sydney, in Martin Place, right outside the offices of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The day after, the site was shut down by the police. It seems I was jinxed, because the same thing happened in New York, the day after I simply dropped off a couple of copies of my book Debunking Economics. The speech holds up pretty well, though I’ve developed my technical arguments a lot since then.
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