My presentation from the Dangerous Ideas Festival

I wasn’t quite sure whether I was presenting my own dangerous ideas, or talking about the dangerous ideas of the zombie economists, but either way it was a fun event. I’ve attached the presentation in various formats PPT and PDF (v large) formats, and a font you may need to read it.

13 thoughts on “My presentation from the Dangerous Ideas Festival

  1. Thanks for links.
    Actually watched another manifestation of this “Ideas” phenomena on QA.
    I really walked away after shutting off, at Paul Kelly, the ultimate Zombie and just the presence of Prof Q’s link is soothing, after last night- to discover there may be alternatives to Kelly’s incoherent, reactive, offer nothing/say nothing dogmatism.

  2. INteresting presentation that complied with Godwins Law.

    The pdf’s conclusion that, in effect, we needed to trade-off efficiency to get equity, sounds good – but capitalism can only maintain profits if it transfers wealth from producers to capitalists – ie if it increases inequity.

    Capitalists have the power to argue (or promise) that:

    – if they do well, a rising tide lifts all boats
    – if you tax or regulate them to boost equity, capital will go on strike (move offshore) and unemployment and debt will increase.

    This is the real problem.

    Capitalists (including in the ALP Right) set this barrier to equity. They also launch campaigns against welfare (which is the only practical form of equity under capitalism).

    But this is a Clayton’s equity.

    It appears to me that equity, efficiency and rigor can be maximised only outside capitalism.

  3. All of these economic theories become mushie because they assume that the target economic body is homegenous and performs in zombie fashion, when this is far from the reality. There are far to many forces at play in the 21st century for any one process of measurement or control to be stable for a significant period of time. Keynsianism was developed in a time of low industrial automation. It appeared to work as automation increased in the hands of large manufacturing industries (more homogenous) but as automation became more available to the individual and small business then reaction to economic changes became more chaotic and unpredictable. Next globalisation further undermined the ability for the theory to define the economic outcomes of the populus.

    Small business and large business perform very differently in the face of fluctuations of economic strength, and innovation plays a major role in the chaotic dynamic when small business faces the stress of economic hardship. So in the manufacturing sector there is at least a 2 speed reaction to economic change. The energy sector in the face of global warming and peak oil is in the process of becoming more chaotic. Not to mention the agricultural sector suffering at the hands of climate change.

    It is way past time for a new unifying economic theory that embraces the environment and is dynamically integrated with the chaotic nature of modern economic forces.

  4. I should have added “and is able to identify, isolate and quantify Greed Arrogance Corruption and Stupidity” as these forces represent the principle economic destabalisers in both the private and public sectors.

  5. @Chris Warren
    Equality is part of the equation but it is foolish to think that it should be maximised at the detriment of economic development in the only way we know how – through the capitalist system. There are no alternatives.

  6. Well another neo liberal dangerous idea that we live with on a daily basis (the idea that public organisations can mix it , tap dance and do business with the private sector without corrupting themslves) has just been exposed. This one goes straight to the top and is an ugly legacy of John Howard’s government and his batty love for anything private sector whilst simulatenously castigating the public sector.

    The nice little private earner for the Reserve Bank that produces polymer plastic notes for the central bank printing presses worldwide and has as its executive, past and current RBA assistant governors. (appointed under Howards leadership)… is now being investigated in raids the British Govt and Australian Federal Police major crime units.

    Front page Paper today SMH also.

    The interesting thing here is that some previous executive from Austrade also played a role – now let me guess? The darling of John Howard? The firepower fuel pill guy?.

    If we need any more evidence than this that mixing private business with public institutions is a majorly stupid mistake, then we just dont get it.

    The “conduct unbecoming” of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

  7. Rationalist :
    @Chris Warren
    Equality is part of the equation but it is foolish to think that it should be maximised at the detriment of economic development in the only way we know how – through the capitalist system. There are no alternatives.

    This is clearly irrational.

    At no point did I imply any “detriment of economic development”.

    This is typical of capitalists “rationalists”. Re-word someones stance and then criticise the rewording.

    My concern is the capitalist transfer of wealth from producers to capitalists. The trade-off of efficiency and equity was in Quiggin’s pdf (as I interpreted the final pages and I think this conclusion, typical of TEAS-educated academics, was inadequate).

    My point was that without capitalism you can have efficiency and equity, with no detriment.

    If you want to suggest anything is “foolish” you had better explain why, lest you appear the loudest fool yourself.

    When the British parliament moved against slavery, plantation owners also said “there is no alternative”. This is a stock-in-trade, propagandist, hoary argument peddled by politicians.

    Anyone else can simply state – there is no alternative to abolishing capitalism.

  8. @Rationalist
    Yes yes Ratio – we have all heard the tired argument – seek equality and sacrifice economic growth (shock horror)…As if economic growth has some mystical powers with which no-one should interfere. I dont suppose you ever considered the fact that we can have economic growth, with more equity, with more equality and with more sustainability, and with more decency.

    I myself do not want economic growth to trump all these concerns. That gives carte blanche for economic growth fetishists to ride roughshod over any civilisation and order we lay claim to as advanced humanoids.

    Ahhh no. I dont want my economic growth served up along with a bowl of immoral unethical uncivilised slops..over which I have to fight my fellow man thanks.

    There is no rainbow without economic growth taking the majority with it Ratio. To place economic growth above other human considerations of order and civilisation and planning (need I remind you we are social animals?) will result in only fear and desperation and unrest.

  9. Rationalist :
    @Chris Warren
    There is capitalism or Marxism. I think history proves the winner.

    Too many misunderstandings here. You appear to know nothing about Marxism, and scant about the inherent tendencies of capitalism.

    Capitalism is a economic theory
    Marxism is a world view

    History is destroying capitalism and rebirthing Marxist economic critiques.

    “So don’t speak too soon, for the wheel’s still in spin …”

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