New Principles of Economics Textbook

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Pro­fes­sor John Kom­los has just released a new text­book on eco­nom­ics which breaks away from the mold of pro­duc­ing clones of Samuelson’s genre-defining opus. Its title is “What Every Eco­nom­ics Stu­dent Needs to Know and Doesn’t Get in the Usual Prin­ci­ples Text”. At a price of $26.55 via Ama­zon, it is priced to be an afford­able sup­ple­ment to a stan­dard text­book. Given the fail­ings of the dis­ci­pline that were so vividly high­lighted by the global finan­cial cri­sis, this book is well worth con­sid­er­ing as an alter­na­tive to the Neo­clas­si­cal mono­cul­ture that dom­i­nates eco­nomic tuition today.

More Effective Remedies for Inequality than Piketty’s

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I will launch Sack the Econ­o­mists, by Geoff Davies, on Sun­day 4 May (3:30pm for a 4pm start) at Glee­books, 49 Glebe Point Road Glebe NSW 2037 Syd­ney.  The event is free, but an RSVP is required here or via phone at 02 9660 2333.  Fol­low­ing is an edited extract per­tain­ing to Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller.  I hope to see Sydney-side read­ers of this blog at the launch.]

A sudden conversion of property bubble doubts

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Back in the Olde Days, before the global finan­cial cri­sis, when I was one of a hand­ful rais­ing the alarm, some of the most stri­dent oppo­si­tion to my opin­ion about what this might mean for hous­ing in Aus­tralia came from Christo­pher Joye (who was then a Direc­tor at Ris­mark). We went head to head on many occa­sions, with me argu­ing that our prices were a debt-fuelled bub­ble, and Joye argu­ing that ris­ing house prices sim­ply reflected ris­ing house­hold incomes.

Vale Ted Wilshire

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There are very few peo­ple who qual­ify as unfor­get­table in your life, and Ted Wilshire was one of those for me. A larger than life char­ac­ter in every sense of the word, Ted was best known as the Research Offi­cer for the Aus­tralian Metal Work­ers Union (AMWU) who penned the then-influential pam­phlets Aus­tralia Ripped Off and Aus­tralia Uprooted in the days prior to The Accord under the Hawke and Keat­ing Gov­ern­ments.

How not to win an economic argument

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cri­tique of a yet-to-be-published paper of mine (“Loan­able Funds, Endoge­nous Money and Aggre­gate Demand”, forth­com­ing in the Review of Key­ne­sian Eco­nom­ics later this year; the link is to a par­tial blog post of that paper) by non-mainstream econ­o­mist Tom Pal­ley reminds me of one of my favourite ripostes by a politi­cian, back in the days before spin doc­tors stopped them say­ing any­thing offen­sive — or indeed any­thing interesting.

Putting China’s dramatic transformation into perspective

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I have been to so many coun­tries in the last decade that my car­bon foot­print is Yeti-size. But one coun­try I haven’t been to for 32 years is the one I’m in now: China.

What a dif­fer­ence three decades makes: my visit in 1981–82 coin­cided with the trial of the Gang of Four; now many sub-25 Chi­nese think that must be the name of a new boy band they yet haven’t heard of.