Category Archives: History of Ideas, Methodology, Philosophy

MYTH, POLITICIANS AND MARKETS:

The Truth Behind the Free Market by Bryan Gould (Macmillan, $54.95) This review was commissioned by ‘The Listener’ but not used  Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; The dominant public narrative has a vision of business and the market as progressive forces, held back by unnecessary interventions from politicians and…
Continue reading this entry »

The Archbishop and the Economist

St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society  24 October, 2013   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy;   Those who founded this venerable church, more than 160 years ago, might be a little disturbed that the Archbishop of Canterbury should be introduced into it. However my intention is not so much…
Continue reading this entry »

The Austerian Economists’ Error

The Austerian Economists’ Error In the battle of opinions for managing sluggish economies, rhetoric often misrepresents the research.   Listener: 13 June, 2013   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money;   The right response to high unemployment and lethargic economic activity is to cut back government spending, according to “Austerians”, whose…
Continue reading this entry »

Our Muslim Neighbours

Indonesian Muslims don’t necessarily support the opinions and actions of Middle Eastern Muslims.   Listener: 8 June, 2013   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Literature and Culture; Political Economy & History;   I once flew from Dublin to Vienna – both Catholic but with very different atmospheres. The distance from Mecca to Jakarta…
Continue reading this entry »

Albert Hirschman (1915-2012)

  It is said social scientists don’t live dangerously, but here’s one who did.   Listener: 16 February, 2013.   Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History;   Miraculously, all four Jewish schoolboys in the picture (which accompanied the column)  taken in Berlin in about 1930 escaped the Holocaust, which killed…
Continue reading this entry »

Money Can’t Buy Me Love

The available text of Shakespeare?s Timon of Athens is a bit of a mess. It was all the compilers of the 1623 Folio edition of Shakespeare?s plays had when it was published, but it is almost certainly an early draft by its two playwrights (Thomas Middleton wrote about half of it), replete with inconsistencies that would have been dealt with when the play was staged. This may justify more freedom than modern directors regularly take with Shakespeare; the British National Theatre seized the opportunity last year with a stage production (right), also on film, located in London after the global financial crisis.

The Context of Light-handed Regulation

Introduction to a Fabian Society series on Light-handed Regulation, Wellington.10 September 2012 This is the first of five presentations on light-handed regulation. Its critics sometimes call it “light-headed” regulation, referring to the simple mindedness of the idea, or “light-fingered” regulation, referring to the way a goodly number used it to line their own pockets at…
Continue reading this entry »

What Are Our Public Priorities?

This is the revised version of a paper given to the a public health group in Lower Hutt, and a Presbyterian Church group in Hamilton. It is a development of an earlier paper “What Are Our Economic Priorities?” (http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1549) There is an accompanying PowerPoint presentation. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; I want to…
Continue reading this entry »

Are Our Decisions Based on the Influence Of Irrelevant Factors?

Listener: 12 May, 2012. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Economists have long assumed individuals try to do what they judge best, but from the 1970s a notion of “super-rationality” became popular. This assumed that decision-makers took everything into account and made optimal choices. This assumption simplified some otherwise tricky mathematics, but its greatest…
Continue reading this entry »

Rogernomics and the Left

For Bruce Jesson: We Miss You Published in the CAFCA “Foreign Control Watchdog”, April 2012, No 129, p.46-55. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; The rise of the left and its socialist analysis was a response to the disruption and hardships of the nineteenth-century industrialisation (which we now know morphed into today’s…
Continue reading this entry »

Treasury Improving

Listener: 23 November, 2011. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Social Policy; Economists always knew income was just one contributor to total well-being, but it was the only bit they could study. Later, as the databases became more comprehensive, new research enabled them to turn their minds to what else matters and to look…
Continue reading this entry »

What Are Our Economic Priorities?

Fabian Society, Wellington, 20 October, 2011 (Note that this is a revised version of the paper at http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1524. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money; Tonight I want to talk about our economic priorities. I’m going to differ from the conventional wisdom by arguing we should pay less attention to the growth…
Continue reading this entry »

An Ethical Economy?

Poverty in New Zealand, St Peters on Willis , Wellington, 17 October, 2011. (This followed a presentation by Stephanie McIntyre, the director of the Downtown Community Ministry.) Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; I want to begin by saying I have an enormous respect for Stephanie McIntyre, the team she…
Continue reading this entry »

What Are Our Economic Priorities?

Spirited Conversations: Nelson 24 August, 2011 A revised version of this column is at http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1549. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Macroeconomics & Money; Tonight I want to talk to talk about our economic priorities. I’m going to differ from the conventional wisdom by arguing we should pay less attention to the growth of…
Continue reading this entry »

Indian Listener Columns

Keywords: Growth & Innovation; History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; The Asia New Zealand Foundation kindly made a grant to enable me to visit India. Here are the columns I wrote: A CLASH OF TITANS (22 January, 2011) http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1416 GOD’S OTHER COUNTRY (19 February, 2011) http://www.eastonbh.ac.nz/?p=1435 INDIA’S UNMET DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENT NEEDS…
Continue reading this entry »

Amartya Sen and India’s Future

India is a country of the past, but it is also a country of the future. Listener: 25 June, 2011. Keywords: Growth & Innovation; History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Political Economy & History; Many New Zealanders find India mysterious, for we don’t have much to do with it – unfortunately it is just out…
Continue reading this entry »

Quakenomics

Earthquakes are bad for the economy, despite the wool some are trying to pull. Listener: 19 March, 2011. Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Business journalists sometimes seem to compete among themselves for the silliest argument, but the height of fatuity must be the crowing that the Christchurch earthquakes will increase our gross domestic…
Continue reading this entry »