Thanks to everyone who the first six chapters of my book, Economics in Two Lessons. That brings us to the end of Lesson 1: Market prices reflect and determine opportunity costs faced by consumers and producers.
Now its time for Lesson Two: Market prices don’t reflect all the opportunity costs we face as a society.
I’ll start with a brief intro and then the draft of Chapter 7: Property rights, and income distribution
As usual, I welcome comments, criticism and encouragement.
Read More »
Most of the political commentariat were convinced that Bill Shorten had got things badly wrong by announcing his policy on dividend imputation immediately before the Batman by-election. It was even more striking that, despite the pressure, Shorten didn’t cave into demands for changes to the policy. Michelle Grattan, for example, described the policy as an “own goal“. After Labor’s easy win, she backed off a little bit, but still claimed that Labor “has a selling job“. M
Maybe so, but I’d say the government is the one that has scored goals for the other side.
(Update 27/3) As predicted, Labor has tweaked the policy to exclude pensioners. That blunts the remaining lines of attack, but doesn’t cost much money, since the benefits go primarily to high-wealth self-funded (but massively tax-subsidised) retirees. By waiting until after the Batman by-election and the latest Newspoll, Labor looks gutsy (even Dennis Shanahan in the Oz conceded this) and Turnbull looks even weaker than before
Read More »
Is the ball-tampering crisis:
(a) A sign of our national obsessions with sport, trivia and scandals at the expense of more important issues;
(b) A symbol of the socially corrosive and corrupting effects of neoliberalism;
(c) The End of Western Civilization As We Know It
The Grattan Institute has just released a report blaming high electricity network costs on public ownership and excessive reliability standards. I commented on a draft of the report, but there wasn’t much change in relation to my comments.
My comments are over the fold. Let me offer the following, slightly ad hominem argument. Grattan has backed the National Energy Guarantee, a radical change in Australia’s energy policy, which was justified mainly by the occurrence of a single blackout in Adelaide. Yet it asserts (without any evidence I can see) that the responses to earlier blackouts in Queensland and NSW represent unjustified “gold plating”.
Read More »
Francis Bator, the economist who popularized the term “market failure”, has died at the age of 92 after being hit by a car. His NY Times obituary is here.
Francis’ passing is a cause of sadness for me as my book, Economics In Two Lessons draws heavily on his work from the 1950s and 1960s. He had read excerpts on Crooked Timber and corresponded with me about it, much to my surprise and delight. I was looking forward to sending him the manuscript but now I won’t get the chance.
A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.
Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.