The Nature of the Beast: how economists mistook wild horses for a rocking chair.
Mainstream free-market economics fundamentally mis-identifies the nature of market economies. Its record is of retarded growth followed by disaster. It counts costs as positives instead of negatives. It is blind to how the present banking system destabilises the economy. It is relentlessly materialistic and adversarial. It ignores most of what we know about real people and the real world.
The result is pseudo-scientific gobbledygook, and the unstable, inequitable, undemocratic, destructive and unsustainable mess known as the global economy.
The Nature of the Beast draws out the real nature of market economies using modern knowledge of systems, human behaviour, ecology, biology and physics. It points the way to stable, prosperous, democratic market economies that can support people, societies and the living world into the indefinite future.
[The following was published as a Letter to the Editor in the Canberra Times, 19th March. It has generated a bit of comment, so I thought I’d post it here too.]
[Update 24 March: I will add relevant Letters to Ed to the Comments here as they appear in the paper.]
Canberrans will be worse off if Canberra grows rapidly, as the growth boosters want. Much of the amenity we enjoy will be lost to crowding, congestion and outdated infrastructure. Much of the amenity we had has already been lost. Civic is already lost, transformed from people-friendly plazas to glass boxes with managed artificial environments.
The Republican victory in Ted Kennedys former senate seat in Massachusetts may seem a long way from Australia, but there are similar forces at work in both countries. So far, no major political party in the Anglophone world has been willing to directly challenge the right-wing ascendancy of the past three decades, and we continue to pay a heavy price for their timidity and lack of vision.
In a sane world, a shrinking GDP would be greeted with relief. However the world is not sane, and people suffer when the GDP shrinks, mainly by losing their jobs. Meanwhile, insanity has faltered slightly and disturbing thoughts are being put about. However our leaders are working to ensure normal insanity is restored as quickly as possible.