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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

Sandpit

1 day 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.
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Monday Message Board

1 day 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
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Billionaires in space

6 days ago

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

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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
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What to do when you’re wrong

10 days ago

We all get things wrong from time to time, particularly in relation to fast moving events like the pandemic. So, how can you respond when this happens. Here’s a list of possibilities, generally from best to worst in terms of intellectually responsibility and from least to most common in terms of frequency

Admit error, look at why you were wrong, try and do better next time (let’s get real, we are talking about human beings here. this almost never happensGo quiet for a while, and don’t return to the topic until you have done some rethinkingArgue that you were right, but that circumstances have changedClaim that, despite appearances, you’ll be proved right in the endGo quiet and scrub as much of your past track record as you canClaim you always held the opposite position to the

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One failure too many

12 days ago

That’s the title of my latest piece in Inside Story , also printed in the Canberra Times under the headline Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak highlights hard choices“”

Key para

Poor understanding of uncertainty was evident in the rush to label New South Wales as the gold standard and assume that a handful of successes was evidence that there was nothing to worry about. This conclusion didn’t take account of the fact that the policy could not afford even one failure. All high-risk strategies share two key features: they work until they fail, and they are likely to be hailed as the product of genius until they are not.

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Why most economists continue to back lockdowns

16 days ago

That’s the headline for my latest piece in The Conversation, with Richard Holden. It’s reprinted over the fold.

With the prospect of a lengthy lockdown looming over Sydney, the idea of “living with the virus” has resurfaced https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-great-lie-at-the-heart-of-australia-s-de-facto-covid-19-strategy-is-about-to-be-exposed-20210706-p58782.html

.  NSW Health minister Brad Hazzard has raised the prospect of abandoning the lockdown and accepting that “the virus has a life which will continue in the community”. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-07/nsw-delta-variant-may-never-be-controlled/100273956

As with pandemic policy in general

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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
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Sandpit

23 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.
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Monday Message Board

23 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
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Not CRT but critical thinking about race

28 days ago

Over the fold a piece I wrote on the Critical Race Theory panic. I took my time and I think everything has been said by now, but readers might like to discuss it anyway. There’s an earlier version here

The latest round in the seemingly endless culture wars in the US, now rapidly spread to satellite states like Australia, concerns Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT has a lot in common with previous bogeys, including cultural Marxism, socialism, postmodernism and, on the left, neoliberalism. All of these terms refer to ideas that were influential, at least in some circles, in the 20th century. All have been used as generalized pejoratives, applied to just about anything the user doesn’t like.

But not all of these pejoratives are the same. While plenty of people know they should

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The Great Melbourne lockdown in retrospect

29 days ago

Now that much of Australia, but not Victoria, is locked down, it seems like a good time to reconsider last year’s epic lockdown in the light of subsequent experience. What have we learned that is useful?

Hotel quarantine doesn’t work. Immense amounts of effort were devoted into working out who made what mistakes in setting up Melbourne quarantine, whether it was bad contracting, security guards fraternsing with the inmates returned travellers, or something else. After a dozen or more leakages, in every state in the country, it’s evident that this effort was a waste of time. The correct response was for the Commonwealth government to accept its constitutional responsibility and set up purpose-built quarantine facilities as fast as possible. A year later, this is finally starting

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Monday Message Board

June 27, 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
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MS Fundraising Appeal: a big success

June 26, 2021

My fundraising appeal for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Brissie to the Bay was a huge success, raising $3100 to support services including physiotherapy, service coordination, counselling and symptom management as well as MS research to look for better treatments and ultimately a cure for this dreadful disease.

Special thanks to generous donor Chris Caton, Tom Davies, David Godden and,Graeme Orr all of whom gave $100 or more, and especially to super-generous Chris Murphy. I know not everyone has a lot of spare cash, so thanks to all who gave what they could afford.

I wasn’t able to take part in the big ride, as I was out of town, but I did a solo 100km ride, as well as a marathon earlier in June. I am so fortunate to have kept the good health that allows me to do these things, and

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Sandpit

June 21, 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.
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Monday Message Board

June 20, 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
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Final MS Appeal

June 20, 2021

I’ve been raising funds for the MS Brissie to the Bay Appeal, and have raised over $2000.

I’m making one last push to reach my target of $2500 (I have $231 left to go). As I couldn’t join the official ride, I’ll do one of my own, with a min 50k and max 100k. For every $5 donated, I’ll do an extra km in addition to the initial 50.
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Improving economic participation to overcome Indigenous disadvantage

June 16, 2021

I took part in a UQ Economics Thought Leadership event last week, looking at this topic. It was a family event as my cousin Robynne, who has done lots of work in this field (currently chairs the Board of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, as well as being a professor at UTS among lots of other positions), also took part. Here’s a link to the UQ page with a video recording and here are my Powerpoint slides.

My contribution was to link the discussion on Indigenous disadvantage to the national and global issues raised by Livable Income Guarantee and UBI proposals.
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Monday Message Board

June 13, 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
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Email newsletter for May 2021

June 12, 2021

You can read my latest email newsletter, covering May 2021, here.

I’m looking into Substack as a way of distributing the newsletter, and providing links to the blog, but am still finding my way. Any thoughts would be appreciated
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Labor and its imaginary friends: why the party’s traditional core is not an election winner

June 7, 2021

That’s the headline for my latest piece in Crikey reproduced over the fold.

Labor’s poor performance in the by-election seat of Upper Hunter, held by the National Party since 1931 has provoked a new round of soul-searching about the party’s failure to maintain the support of its traditional ‘base’. Implicitly or explicitly, the ‘base’ is assumed to be typified by male manual workers, particularly those in rural and regional areas like Upper Hunter, or in industrial cities like Whyalla.

In historical terms, this makes sense. The Labor party was founded after the defeat of the shearer’s strike in 1891, and the party long drew much of its support from workers like shearers, canecutters and miners, as well as from urban factory workers, railway workers and so on. There is

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A podium finish

June 6, 2021

2nd out of 7 in my age group in the Brisbane Marathon. While I often get 1/1, genuine podiums are a rarity for me. Thanks to Nancy for Bike support on lots of training runs https://results.sportseventservices.com.au/results.aspx?CId=16287&RId=6130&EId=1&dt=1

I’m raising money for MS Brissie to the Bay. You can donate here
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Sandpit

June 6, 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

June 6, 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
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The end of the population pyramid (scheme)

June 1, 2021

In a case of l’esprit de l’escalier, I just worked out the perfect parenthetical addition to this piece that was published in Inside Story, responding to a string of pro-natalist pieces in the New York Times and elsewhere. The central point is that the economic model in which strong young workers support elderly retirees is outdated and will only become more so.

A sharp fall in births during 2020 has provoked a wave of handwringingabout the implications of an ageing population. The decline can’t be attributed solely to the pandemic, since most of the babies born in 2020 were conceived before the pandemic began. However, it appears to have accelerated as the impact of the pandemic has been felt.

Some of the complaints reflect old-fashioned, not to say primitive, concerns about

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Monday Message Board

May 30, 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
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