Support me on Patreon

Flattr this!

Click here to support me on Patreon

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.

This has the side effect of under­min­ing non-main­stream eco­nom­ics, just when the world has start­ed to appre­ci­ate that anoth­er approach is need­ed. The rea­son is that over the last four decades, Neo­clas­si­cal econ­o­mists have purged the most pres­ti­gious Uni­ver­si­ties: as they retired, non-Neo­clas­si­cal econ­o­mists were con­sis­tent­ly replaced by Neo­clas­si­cal ones.

Only low­er-ranked Uni­ver­si­ties gave non-Neo­clas­si­cal staff a chance, which is why plu­ral­ist eco­nom­ics pro­grams have devel­oped there and nowhere else. Now these pro­grams are under threat as a by-prod­uct of this attempt to cre­ate a Uni­ver­si­ty mar­ket­place.

When I first came to the UK in 2014, Kingston was hap­py for me to spend much of my time engag­ing with the pub­lic through blog posts, media appear­ances, and pub­lic talks. This helped pro­mote Kingston, as well as allow­ing me to spread the mes­sage that eco­nom­ics need­ed a dras­tic over­haul.

But giv­en the decline in enrol­ments, Kingston now needs “all hands on deck”: I was giv­en the choice of either going to a full teach­ing load (which would leave me with no time for my pub­lic activ­i­ties), or main­tain­ing my cur­rent load at a reduced salary.

I opt­ed for the lat­ter. Just in the last year, sev­er­al lead­ing main­stream econ­o­mists (Kocher­loko­ta, Blan­chard, Romer) have acknowl­edged the need for seri­ous change in eco­nom­ics. There is wide­spread aware­ness now in the pub­lic for the need to reform eco­nom­ics. Now is the time to build on those foun­da­tions, which I can’t do if I have to take on a full teach­ing load.

So I’ve decid­ed to see if I can main­tain my role as a pub­lic intel­lec­tu­al by being fund­ed by the pub­lic through Patre­on at It’s off to a good start: after less than ten days, 190 patrons have pledged about US$1900 a month. That is about 20% of the way to my first goal of US$10,000 a month, which is rough­ly equiv­a­lent to my salary.


Beyond that, I can fund the con­tin­u­ous devel­op­ment of Min­sky, hire a research assis­tant, and ulti­mate­ly devel­op online cours­es in economics–which will be more viable than try­ing to teach real­is­tic eco­nom­ics at low­ly ranked uni­ver­si­ties, whose fund­ing is always ten­u­ous and may, in the UK, now be ter­mi­nal.

If you’ve ben­e­fit­ed from my chal­leng­ing of main­stream eco­nom­ics, and my devel­op­ment of a real­is­tic, dynam­ic, mon­e­tary alter­na­tive approach, please con­sid­er sign­ing up to Patre­on and sup­port­ing my work. It can be for as lit­tle as US$1 a month.

Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.