Practical Economics to Build a Flourishing World

Articles
Categories of Economic Thinking

Categories of Economic Thinking

It is time not only to rebuild the way we think about the economy, but also to act meaningfully upon that thinking.
Let's Eliminate Corporate Taxes!

Let’s Eliminate Corporate Taxes!

“Multinational corporations act and therefore should be taxed as single and unified firms. It is time for our leaders to be bold.” – Joseph Stiglitz Sitglitz says that the international tax system is broken.1)See Joseph Stiglitz quoted on CNN Money, June 2, 2015. Accessed July 2 2018. And this is certainly true. Large corporations are massive...
Social Limits to Growth – in Memory of Fred Hirsch I: Positional Goods

Social Limits to Growth – in Memory of Fred Hirsch I: Positional Goods

“There is lots that is new and good in this draft thesis… unfortunately, what is good isn’t new and what is new isn’t good …”     – Professor Stephen Marglin commenting on a draft of Andrew S. Nevin’s PhD thesis “And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend....
GAI: Guaranteed Annual Income

GAI: Guaranteed Annual Income

Poverty is fundamentally about a lack of cash. It’s not about stupidity. – Erin Anderssen, Globe and Mail Guaranteed annual income was debated in Canada in the 1970s. In fact, I remember the discussion from my childhood. But the oil crisis, stagflation, and general pessimism meant that by the end of that decade, no one...
Our Malleable Preferences: Part 2

Our Malleable Preferences: Part 2

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. – Adam Smith The famous quotation from Adam Smith illustrates what is the defining feature of modern economics – the idea that economic exchanges lead to everyone’s being...
The Labour Market: The Greatest Market Failure Ever (Part 3)

The Labour Market: The Greatest Market Failure Ever (Part 3)

The excitement of vitamins, nutrition and metabolism permeated the environment.  – Paul D. Boyer In The Labour Market 2, you were promised an explanation of the connection between employment and economic (and individual) Flourishing. The simplistic answer from economic orthodoxy is that by freeing up labour markets, we could solve unemployment. But this view cannot...
The Rise of the Tournament Effect

The Rise of the Tournament Effect

Dealing with the consequences of the Tournament Effect is one of our greatest challenges if we are going to maximize Flourishing.
The Labour Market: The Greatest Market Failure Part 2: NEET

The Labour Market: The Greatest Market Failure Part 2: NEET

“When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results.” -Calvin Coolidge The Greatest Market Failure Ever: Part 1, examined how well the labour market functions from the perspective of the individual trying to build a satisfying life – to Flourish – over the long term. The conclusion was that it doesn’t function...
You Can't Get There From Here

You Can’t Get There From Here

We wanted flying cars. Instead we got 140 characters. – Peter Thiel, Founder of Paypal The Tokyo Metro is a marvel of efficiency and practicality: beautifully clean and well-designed with excellent people flow. There are well-marked exits for the entire area around each station and, remarkably to a Westerner, there are clean and modern comfort...
Do Interest Rates Matter?

Do Interest Rates Matter?

In fact, investment often rises when interest rates go up and volatility increases. – from The Economist Economics is actually starting to Flourish. The GFC has caused a rethink of some of the fundamental assumptions, and young economists are challenging the orthodoxy with empirical studies (the 1st Principle of Economic Reality is that Economics is...
The Max-a-median Principle, With Apologies to Rawls

The Max-a-median Principle, With Apologies to Rawls

It may be expedient but it is not just that some should have less in order that others may prosper. – John Rawls Through the evolutionary process, those who are able to engage in social cooperation of various sorts do better in survival and reproduction. – Robert Nozick When I was at Oxford studying Philosophy...
The Flywheel Effect - or why Russia's big bang was a disaster

The Flywheel Effect – or why Russia’s big bang was a disaster

“ ‘Well, Dr Sacks,’ he said to me. ‘You find me an interesting case, I perceive. Can you tell me what you find wrong, make recommendations?’ ‘I can’t tell you what I find wrong,’ I replied, ‘but I’ll say what I find right…’ ” –  Oliver Sacks   How can we understand the brain, the most...
The Hurt Locker Effect - Purpose, Change, and Edge

The Hurt Locker Effect – Purpose, Change, and Edge

Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a...