It’s time again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. In keeping with my attempts to open up the comments to new contributors , I’d like to redirect discussion, as opposed to substantive new contributions, to the sandpit(s). As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language please.
Looking at the debate over UK protests over the tripling of tuition fees, it seems to me that this is an occasion where realistic utopianism (I’m paraphrasing Erik Olin Wright here) is needed, and is currently in short supply. The present ways in which modern societies determine the life choices available to 20 year olds are unsatisfactory and inequitable, and the British system is (or seems from a distance) to be more inequitable than many, perhaps most. So, defending that system against change, even change that will make things worse, is difficult and problematic. Rather than ask what incremental reforms might make things better, it seems like a good idea to ask how we might design a set of institutions from scratch, and then think about the implications for existing systems.
Update It appears that the problem may have been related to the server, and fixed by some emergency maintenance at Joyent. If anyone is still experiencing errors or slow loading, please advise me (assuming you have enough access to read this). Conversely, I’d appreciate confirmation in comments from readers for whom the problems have been fixed.
Problems with access to the blog have re-emerged. I will post via http://johnquiggin.posterous.com until they are resolved. Posts should propagate here in due course, but readers may prefer to visit the posterous blog.
Another sandpit thread
It is too early to say much about this latest tragedy, but I wanted to mark it.
Apparently, a reader wrote in to Princeton University Press asking for a poster of the cover, which isn’t standard issue for university press books. But thanks to the Internet, all things are possible these days, and within hours, they have been made available.
I’m going to be on the Peter Schiff Internet Radio show, Thursday at 6:35 PM EST, talking about Zombie Economics. It should be interesting. A while ago, I had quite an interesting chat with Russ Roberts, whose views are, I think, fairly similar to Schiff’s, so i’m hoping for some creative interaction on the Keynesian and Austrian approaches to thinking about financial crises and depressions. I planned a full scale post on this, but haven’t had time yet.