12 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Arising from some reading I’d like to see thoughts on two topics:

    1. Firstly is the topic of ‘Degrowth’. That is reducing the size of our economies at least from a resource consumption view. While its contended that:
    a. We have already exceeded the sustainable ecological footprint https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_footprint
    b. Further reductions a needed via ‘rewilding’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewilding_(conservation_biology)

    rather than go over ‘limits to growth’ discussions I’d like to see something on the impact/implications for human society especially the economic ones. Given that we are already languishing in a very low growth period the implications of this becoming permanent need scoping so would Greens and other tree huggers (myself included) understand better the implications or their wishlists e.g. Australia’s superannuation system being shot to pieces? or youth employment/wages? without a radical change in the whole economic system…..which seems like a ‘fat chance’ prospect currently.

    2. The problem of Rentier capitalism aka FIRE which produces little of substance and even drains resources away from innovative capitalism of the kind The Malcolm currently claims to support though his own expertise seems to be in rent extraction. The thoughts of one US economist Michael Hudson http://michael-hudson.com/ are interesting in this regard if one wants a litany of issues/implications/rallying cries for reference.

  2. Degrowth is certainly necessary to slow GHGs.

    However there is no way capitalism can implement this.

    It is a nice poetic concept though and maybe would look good as a bumper sticker in various University car parks.

  3. I wouldn’t like to push for de-growth though it might be forced upon us or be found ultimately necessary. I would rather see us plan at this point for a plateaued, steady-state economy in terms of population and gross size and area of material infrastructure. But we would need scientific, technological and social progress to continue. We’ve ratcheted the system too high to do without growth so it has to be qualitative growth.

    Of course, the above is based on being optimistic. The course I outline is our last realistic hope IMO. It’s hard to be sure how real that hope is but while there is any hope we must keep trying.

  4. I have an economics 101 question .Why is it often said that Australia needs money from overseas because we dont have enough of our own ? If something is worth doing why cant we just create our own money to do it ? If there were no overseas countries we would still have a money system that could do new things.

  5. @sunshine
    In terms of government or public debt, I’m under the impression that it’s actually all in AUD for a while now: http://aofm.gov.au/files/2015/10/Table-H14.pdf
    Your question will likely receive different answers depending on which economist you asked ie which school of economics they’re aligned to. MMT advocates would answer: Yes, can certainly can create our own money to do it and we actually have done this already. However, there are limits to this but in today’s low inflation and relatively strong dollar environment, there could be some room some tinkering in this area.

  6. @sunshine

    Actually we can, but you need labour to go with it and capitalists compete against each other by cutting labour.

    Money is not the problem.

  7. @sunshine
    Your #4

    We need a lot of overseas money, sunshine, because we have to buy a lot of overseas goods because there’s a very large component of our living that we don’t make for ourselves. In short, it’s called the Trade Deficit. And the only way we can manage to have a perpetual Trade Deficit is to also have a perpetual Current Account Deficit.

    If there were no ‘overseas’ we would simply have to make everything for ourselves (after having invented ourselves them first): cars, planes, petrol, whitegoods, electronics, mobile phones – you name it. In short, we’d be living very poor lives.

  8. I just wanted somewhere to vent, so apologies;

    In concluding her rambling defense of rent seeking, dutch diseased resource companies, WA Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds just said “business is not a stakeholder in the economy, it is the economy.”

    Where do they breed them JQ?!

  9. @Pete Moran

    Of course mate, people don’t count. At least not unless they are part of the rich 0.1 %. Didn’t you know that? Sorry, excuse my sarcasm and bitterness but that’s the way of it today, is it not!?

  10. Trump to Mexico has echoes of Nixon to China.
    You know he won’t sell the pass and it makes him look Presidential.
    This is a form of pivot, but one that does not sell out his base.

    To win the presidency Trump will, in the post nomination period, have to perform what’s known as a “pivot” – i.e. betray his base – to broaden his appeal to the educated middle class. I suggest raising the specter of an AI Jobapocalypse. That oughta get their attention.

    I predict a narrowing of his current poll gap. He will still lose but now he has a fighting chance.

  11. @Jack Strocchi
    Your #11

    Yeah, but I bet there isn’t a ‘Trump in Mexico’ opera to come out of it.

    And of course we’ll all keep an eye on that toll deficiency because, the sTrumpet is a real fighter.

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