Thinking Fast and Slow
Decision Making, Finance, Medicine, Political Economy
A simple maths problem: If a bat and a ball cost $1.10 and the bat is $1.00 more expensive than the ball, how much does the ball cost? Half a Harvard class got the wrong answer in a written test!!!
Economics Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman argues that we have two systems of thinking. System-1 is intuitive and fast while System-2 is logical, slow and lazy. Continue reading...
Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Distribution of Income and Wealth; Economic Growth, Debt, Globalisation, Inflation, Tax
Capital in the Twenty-First Century documents and analyses changes in the distribution of wealth and income in developed economies from the mid 19th century. There are some who claim it to be the update of Marx’s Das Kapital – albeit arguing for radical reform and not revolution and dictatorship. Heavy going for non-economists despite a friendly narrative style with lucid explanations of the simple mathematics. Continue reading...
Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy in the Twenty-First Century
Political Economy, International Relations, Democracy, Asian Development, Australia, Inequality, Economic Growth
A careful thoughtful view delivered at the LSE in October 2014 of the “big” issues from one of Australia’s most eminent economists. The title borrows from one of the great political economy tomes of the 20th century, written by Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950). Garnaut refers to many of the the most important political philosophers and social thinkers of the 20th century as he examines the big picture issues through the lens of the nations he knows best – Australia, China (where he was at one time Australian ambassador), Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Continue reading...
Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change
Political Economy, Climate Change, Economic Development and Growth, Ethics
Introducing his new book, Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change Professor Stern outlines why the transition to a low-carbon economy and rapid structural transformations to the world economy provide a story of growth and poverty reduction that is attractive and sustainable.
Stern is the author of the Stern Review – the most comprehensive and authoritative report on climate change from an Economics perspective. Continue reading...
On Race and Recognition: A More Complete Commonwealth
Law, Indigenous Australia, Racism, Constitution, Social Justice
Based on an important 2104 advocacy essay in the Quarterly Essay, lawyer and activist Noel Pearson shows how the idea of “race” was embedded in the Australian constitution, and the distorting effect this has had.Pearson argues that constitutional recognition means true equality and a renewed appreciation of an ancient culture. His essay is a wide-ranging, eloquent call for justice that transcends traditional Left-Right categories, and traverses history, philosophy and culture to make the case for dignified change. Continue reading...
Judas - a tale
Antisemitism/Jew-hatred, anti-Zionism, Culture, Middle East
Amos Oz, Israel’s most translated and best known writer, believes that the narrative of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus has been responsible for Jew-hatred through history, culminating in the Shoah/Holocaust. Oz was reading the New Testament in 1967 when other boys were more interested in girls and when Israeli soldiers were defending the Jewish homeland. He felt outrage at the absurdity of the wealthy Judas selling out the Messiah for $400 in today’s terms. Continue reading...
Debt, Demographics and the Distribution of Income: new challenges for monetary policy
Monetary Policy, Interest Rates, Macroeconomics
Monetary policies all over the world are such that interest rates are at their lowest rate ever. In some economies, the rate is negative so that it costs to keep money in banks rather than “under the bed”. This is unprecedented! Despite this, borrowing for new investment is weak – with implications on future productivity and economic growth.
The low interest rates mean that there is little scope to reduce them further, which in turn means that monetary authorities have little scope for managing economic activity – employment, production and investment. Continue reading...
When Firms Become Persons and Person Become Firms
Constitutional Law, USA, Politics
In the United States, the extension of civil liberties to corporations is transforming democracy through rights adjudication. Best known in this regard is Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission, the 2010 Supreme Court decision permitting corporate funding to flood the U.S. electoral process on the basis of corporate rights to free speech. In 2014, Burwell vs Hobby Lobby granted firms the right to the free exercise of religion, and hence the ability to withhold insurance coverage of abortions and abortifacients for their employees. Continue reading...
Race, Reform and the New retrenchment: the perils of post-racialism after Obama
Kimberlé W. Crenshaw
Heightening tensions in the US over police killings of black people have undermined confidence that the election of Barack Obama signaled a new era on race relations in the US. The more lasting legacy may be the one championed by the late Justice Scalia whose legal philosophy currently underwrites the central tensions in equality law in the United States.
Professor Crenshaw discusses Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name as challenges to contemporary jurisprudence on race, and assesses the new openings presented by current events. Continue reading...
Against the Double Blackmail: refugees, terror and other troubles with the neighbours
Culture, Identity, Transgenderism, anti-Colonialism, Marxism, Gender Theory
Slavoj Zizek is an entertaining comedic Slovenian old-fashioned Marxist philosopher who brings Hegel’s dialectics and Marx’s politics to life to make it comprehensible through a seemingly meandering logic that eventually comes to its point without ever losing the place. Listen to how he connects class struggle to transgenderism’s demand for separate toilets; relates Boko Haram, Slovenia, Plato and American marching bands to Brexit and Eurovision and free-spirited singing; and links Palestinian nationalism to Buddhist violence. Continue reading...