Wednesday , September 22 2021
Home / John Quiggin
John Quiggin

John Quiggin

He is an Australian economist, a Professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland, and a former member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government.

Articles by John Quiggin

Monday Message Board

2 days ago

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Monday Message Board

9 days ago

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

What about other avoidable deaths? …

14 days ago

… Should we really learn to live with Covid?

That’s the headline and standfirst for my latest piece in Inside Story. It’s an expansion of my previous response to the kind of whataboutery offered by Gladys Berejklian, saying ““outside of a pandemic, we lose between 600 and 800 people every year to the flu.”

Read there, comment here.
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Dismembering government …

14 days ago

… New public management and why the Commonwealth government can’t do anything anymore. That’s the headline for a piece I’ve written for The Monthly.

Read there, discuss here
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Sandpit

16 days ago

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.

To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.
Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Monday Message Board

16 days ago

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Do vaccination passports take away freedoms? …

18 days ago

… It depends on how you frame the question

That’s the headline for my latest piece in The Conversation . The key idea, drawn from behavioral economics and psychology is that of framing, developed by Kahneman and Tversky.

More to come on this soon …
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Monday Message Board

24 days ago

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Covid can teach us how to fight climate change

27 days ago

That’s the Canberra Times headline for my latest article. It’s paywalled, and hasn’t yet gone up on Inside story, so the text is over the fold.

The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are predictably grim, but in a sense, irrelevant. The scientific debate over climate change has been over for some time, and the reality of climate change is now evident for anyone who chooses to look.

Until about five years ago, debates on climate policy lined up extensive evidence of rising global temperatures and model predictions about worse things to come against statistical quibbles and “sceptical” arguments which came down to “scientists are always predicting disaster and it never happens”

But in 2021, we no longer need to look at models to see the

Read More »

The Malayan Emergency

29 days ago

In the wake of the US defeat in Afghanistan, I’ve reinforced my previous belief that outside powers (particularly Western democracies) are almost always going to lose in counter-insurgency wars of this kind. I covered this theme is a post from 2004.

But what was the source of the confidence that wars of this kind could be won? One of the most important was the Malayan Emergency, in which Britain defeated a communist insurgency, supported mainly by impoverished Chinese workers on British-owned rubber estates. The tactics included a reprise of the concentration camps used in the Boer War (though of course they had to be renamed “protected villages”), which were copied by the French and then the Americans in Vietnam. Even after the Vietnam debacle, Malaya was presented as an example

Read More »

Monday Message Board

August 23, 2021

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Frozen conflicts and forever wars

August 16, 2021

The chaotic scenes now playing out as the Taliban take over Afghanistan have unsurprisingly drawn comparisons to the collapse of the South Vietnamese government in 1975. But there have been many similar instances, though most were a little slower: the end of Indonesian rule in East Timor (now Timor L’Este), the French withdrawal from Algeria, and the earlier Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The common feature in all these cases is the attempt by an external (sometimes neighbouring) power to impose and then sustain a government of its choosing, usually in the hope that it will ultimately secure the support of the majority of the population along with international acceptance. The usual outcome is a long period of relatively low-level conflict, during which it can be made to

Read More »

Monday Message Board

August 15, 2021

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Fred’s Big Run

August 13, 2021

For the month of August, I’m running in support of a fundraising appeal for Fred Hollows. It’s a great cause, restoring people’s sight with low-cost operations. You can support me here

Not that I’m competive but it would only take a little over $500 to put me into the top 20 individual fundraisers,
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Sloppy thinking about vaccine mandates

August 13, 2021

Michelle Grattan has an uncharacteristically sloppy piece in The Conversation about vaccine mandates. It reads as if she’s chatted to some people in the government,then phoned in an article reflecting their confused position. Among the most notable failings

First after mentioning the decision by canning company SPC to require vaccination for its employees, she says, of other firms that might follow suit:

But the legal position is unclear. In the absence of a public health order, they would be relying on directions to employees being judged lawful and reasonable. Inevitably there would be court challenges

Grattan ignores the point raised by SPC, that if an employee caught the virus at worked and died, the directors would be open to criminal prosecution for manslaughter. On

Read More »

Recipe for a one-term government

August 13, 2021

Labor’s capitulation on tax policy may help them regain government, but what then?

That’s the headline and standfirst for my latest piece in Inside Story. Key paras

What can be said with more certainty is that, even if Labor wins the 2022 election, its capitulation on tax policy will make holding office for more than one term very difficult. The concession on negative gearing, while regrettable, was mainly symbolic. The lost revenue could be made up in other ways, or else with tolerance of a modestly higher budget deficit.

But the tax cuts are big. They will cost the budget around $15 billion in their first year of operation and the cost will rise steadily after that. That’s more than the entire annual value of the spending commitments Labor took to the 2019 election, which

Read More »

Government reliance on army for lockdowns a weak move

August 12, 2021

That’s the headline from an article I published in Independent Australia last week. Apparently, rather than offer a serious response to the unfolding disaster, Berejklian and Morrison intend to send in more troops.

Opening para

The incapacity of NSW Premier Gladys Berejklian’s “gold standard” Government to contain the latest outbreak of COVID-19 has become a political liability for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. So, as has become standard in such situations, Morrison called in the army, offering 300 troops for what was described as a “crackdown” on compliance with COVID-19 regulations.

The practical impact of this deployment is virtually zero. The NSW Police Force has over 18,000 officers along with thousands of other employees who could assist with many of the routine

Read More »

Monday Message Board

August 9, 2021

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Lonesome George

August 5, 2021

With the closure of Catallaxy, this blog is now pretty much the last remnant of what was once called Ozplogistan – the Australian political blogosphere, which was, for a while, a serious alternative to the political journalism of the mainstream media.

There are a couple of partial exceptions. Tim Blair started blogging in 2002, a few months before me, but retreated behind the Telegraph paywall years ago, and now produces nothing but snark in the manner of Andrew Bolt (it was always an element of his blogging, but when he was out on his own he did some good work).

Club Troppo is a descendent of Ken Parish’s Troppo Armadillo, after several changes of personnel. These days it alternates between interesting but abstruse essays by Nicholas Gruen and Covid denialism/do

Read More »

Obituary for Catallaxy

August 4, 2021

On a chance visit to Catallaxyfiles.com the other day, I found an announcement that the site was closing. It’s now apparently inaccessible, but there’s an archive at the National Library.

As the era of blogging draws to end, this departure is worth noting

Catallaxyfiles was started by Jason Soon in the earliest days of Australian blogging. Jason was soon joined by Andrew Norton, who still has a blog of his own It was one of the first sites I linked to i I started this blog in 2002. Jason and Andrew were and thoughtful people, inclined to the classical liberal version of libertarianism, but not dogmatic about it. We had lots of interesting discussions – here are the results of a search “https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=johnquiggin.com+jason+soon

Catallaxy

Read More »

Monday Message Board

August 1, 2021

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Repubs retreating from anti-vaxerism

July 28, 2021

A funny thing happened in the culture wars the other day. After taking steadily more extreme anti-vaccination positions over many months, leading rightwing commentators and Republican politicanss suddenly jumped ship, announcing that everyone should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

It would be encouraging to imagine that this shift was the result of a recognition of the surge in cases and deaths among the (predominantly Republican) unvaccinated population, and of the dangers posed by the Delta variant. But that explanation seems implausible, given that the same politicians and commentators watched half a million Americans die and opposed every conceivable measure that might reduce the death toll.

It seems even more unlikely that this shift is a response to the efforts of the

Read More »

Sandpit

July 26, 2021

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.

To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.
Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Monday Message Board

July 26, 2021

Back again with 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. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.

http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page
Share this:Like this:Like Loading…

Read More »

Billionaires in space

July 22, 2021

With its unsubtle allusion to a 1980s cult classic, that’s the headline for my latest piece in Independent Australia. Key points

Nothing has changed in the basic physics that makes space travel, beyond the minimal scale achieved in the 1960s, essentially impossible. On the contrary, advances in physics have shut off every theoretical loophole that might have permitted us to exceed the limit imposed by the speed of light. Nor has there been any reduction in the massive amount of energy needed to propel even a single person into space.

The world is facing challenges that threaten our very existence, from pandemics to climate catastrophe to nuclear war. We can’t rely on fantasies of escaping into outer space. Nor we can afford a system that delivers a huge proportion of our

Read More »