What Austerity Hawks Ignore

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My fel­low Post Key­ne­sian and good mate Pro­fes­sor John Har­vey pub­lished an excel­lent piece on his Forbes blog today, point­ing out the fal­lacy of com­po­si­tion in the pro-austerity. He took his cue from anti-austerity riots in Belgium:

Riot police have fired tear gas and water can­non dur­ing clashes with demon­stra­tors as at least 100,000 peo­ple marched through Brus­sels in the first mass protests against gov­ern­ment aus­ter­ity mea­sures. (“Bel­gian pro­test­ers clash with police over pen­sions and pay”, BBC News Europe)

Then he pointed out that the pro-austerity argu­ment is fal­lacy of com­po­si­tion. That’s a hard con­cept to get through—especially, it turns out, to con­ven­tion­ally trained econ­o­mists. So John used a bril­liant exam­ple from Amer­i­can football:

Crash Boom Pop! on The Keiser Report

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Car­toon­ist Miguel Guerra and I went on The Keiser Report to talk about the project to pro­duce a comic book (or “graphic novel”) ver­sion of Debunk­ing Eco­nom­ics. Check out the inter­view, and then please head over to either Kick­starter or Startjoin to help this project come into being. We’re inter­viewed in the sec­ond half of the show, start­ing at the 12 minute mark in the video below.

Samuel­son once wrote that he didn’t care who wrote a country’s laws, so long as he wrote the text­books. Let’s get in front of Samuel­son, and write the comic book that under­mines his text­books.

SOAS Fundraising event for Fred Lee Scholarship

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SOAS is hold­ing an event to recog­nise the late Fred Lee’s out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to devel­op­ing a real­is­tic microeconomics.

Fred Lee

Date: 22 Novem­ber 2014

Time: 9:00 AM-7:00 PM

Venue: Rus­sell Square: Col­lege Buildings

Room: Khalili Lec­ture Theatre

Fred’s work is well known to Post Key­ne­sian econ­o­mists, espe­cially through his mon­u­men­tal work Post Key­ne­sian Price The­ory, which doc­u­mented the many empir­i­cal stud­ies into the actual cost struc­tures of firms–all of which con­tra­dict the fairy tale of ris­ing mar­ginal cost por­trayed in main­stream eco­nomic text­books. He also cam­paigned to pro­mote the real­is­tic approach to eco­nom­ics that is the hall­mark of Post Key­ne­sian economics–in con­trast to the “let’s assume we have a can opener” approach of Neo­clas­si­cal economics.

Crash! Boom! Pop! On Boom! Bust!

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The won­der­ful team of Erin Ade, Ed Har­ri­son and friends at Boom Bust did a fan­tas­tic item on the Crash! Boom! Pop! project. Check out the inter­view and the bril­liant graph­ics they put together to show­case Miguel Guerra’s artis­tic tal­ents. And then pop over to Kick­starter or Startjoin to help bring this project to life. The whole pro­gram is worth watch­ing, but the item on Crash! Boom! Pop! begins halfway through the show (14 min­utes & 50 sec­onds in).

If you want to get straight to the item, click on the link:


Support Crash! Boom! Pop! on Kickstarter & Startjoin

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A bril­liant team of graphic artist Miguel Guerra, lay­out artist Suzy Dias, and writer Genevieve Tran have com­bined to pro­duce what I can describe as a “car­toon ver­sion of Debunk­ing Eco­nom­ics”. They plan to pro­duce up to six graphic nov­els around the theme of “M” (Money, Mayhem–the Finan­cial Crisis–Method, Macro and Micro), to use visual media to take the mickey out of eco­nom­ics for those who don’t want to wade through a 500 page book.

They’re run­ning a Kick­starter cam­paign now–starting on the 85th anniver­sary of Black Tues­day 1929.

About $7500 raised thus far for Standish-Minsky

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Rus­sell Stan­dish asked me to thank those who have donated to keep him avail­able for the Min­sky project: A total of about $7500 has been raised to date.

I have set up the pay­ments now so that they go straight to Russell’s Pay­Pal account. One user did ask about alter­na­tive pay­ment meth­ods; Russell’s com­ment was that bank fees make a direct bank account trans­fer only worth­while either for an Aus­tralian dona­tion, or for a very large sum from a non-Australian bank account.

I am con­tin­u­ing to explore other poten­tial fund­ing options–and there are a cou­ple of promis­ing leads. But until they come through, con­tin­u­ing sup­port from the com­mu­nity would be most welcome.

$1700 raised for Standish-Minsky so far

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Thanks to all those who have chipped in to help keep Rus­sell Stan­dish avail­able for cod­ing Min­sky. The prover­bial per­son with deep pock­ets hasn’t yet mate­ri­al­ized, but about 25 peo­ple with shal­lower ones but gen­er­ous souls have chipped in a total of just under $2000.

Keep Rus­sell Stan­dish on the Min­sky Project

Other Amount:

Your Email Address (and com­ment if you wish to add one) :

I’ve now altered the Pay­pal link on my site so that the pay­ments go directly to Russell’s Pay­pal account.

Assistance for Minsky required

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To any­one out there with deep pockets–or to lots of peo­ple with shal­lower ones–I need finan­cial assis­tance for the Min­sky pro­gram. I have been wait­ing for fund­ing from a source that I’ll reveal once it finally comes through, but it has now been delayed for over six months from when it was first mooted to arrive. If I am lucky, it will come through in January–another 4 months away.

The prob­lem is that I may lose my pro­gram­mer by then to the vicis­si­tudes of hav­ing to earn a liv­ing. I have been the archi­tect of Min­sky, but Rus­sell Stan­dish has been the builder, and I was incred­i­bly lucky to secure his ser­vices when the project began 3 years ago.

The overdue Copernican Revolution in Economics

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This is the talk I gave at the first con­fer­ence of the Inter­na­tional Stu­dent Ini­tia­tive for Plu­ral­ism in Eco­nom­ics, held in the beau­ti­ful Ger­man town of Tue­bin­gen, Ger­many on Sep­tem­ber 19–21 2014.

I cover Min­sky, money, com­plex­ity, the role of debt in aggre­gate demand & aggre­gate sup­ply, and the eco­nomic cri­sis. I spoke too fast and cov­ered top­ics at too high a level for many of the under­grad­u­ate stu­dents in the audi­ence who are part of the rebel­lion against the dom­i­nance of eco­nom­ics tuition and research by Neo­clas­si­cal eco­nom­ics. I hope putting it up here gives those stu­dents and oth­ers a chance to “hit the pause but­ton” and go through my talk more slowly.

Making sense of Scotland the Brazen

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Scot­land voted 55:45 to remain in the UK, but the very fact that the vote was even close was a seri­ous shock to the polit­i­cal estab­lish­ment in Europe. UK Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron had orig­i­nally allowed only a Yes or No vote on full inde­pen­dence in the ref­er­en­dum, rather than a three-option poll includ­ing the “Maybe” of a greater devo­lu­tion of power from White­hall to Edin­burgh, in the belief that the No vote would be so resound­ing that it would ter­mi­nate the inde­pen­dence move­ment per­ma­nently. The Maybe, he believed, might well have got across the line, when in gen­eral he and the Tories didn’t want to cede any power north of Hadrian’s Wall.