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John Quiggin

Mesmerised by Messmer

Faced with glaring evidence of delays and cost blowouts, advocates of nuclear power invariably fall back on the same argument: France did it in the 1970s, why can’t we? An obvious riposte is that France can’t do it any more, as shown by the Flamanville fiasco. A more reasonable answer, which I put forward some years ago, is that the 1970s program depended on characteristics of the French state at the time: centralised, technocratic and with complete control of the energy sector. Those...

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Economics in Two Lessons, by Captain Haddock?

Last week, I did a couple of events in Melbourne for Economics in Two Lessons. One was at Readings in Hawthorn, where my old friend and colleague Al Watson kindly introduced me. The other was at the University of Melbourne, organized by the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, of which I’ve been a member for 40 years now. Max Corden, Australia’s greatest living economist, was going to give the talk there, but was unfortunately taken ill. Another old friend and...

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Monday Message Board

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 Like this:Like Loading...

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The R word, fifteen years on

Back in 2004, I wrote that There is only one real instance of political correctness in Australia today and that is that you are never, ever allowed to call anyone a racist. It’s OK to say that Adolf Hitler was a racist, and that apartheid was racist, but the idea that any actual Australian could be a racist is utterly taboo. Of course, the same was true in the US. But after two and a half years of an openly racist Trump Presidency in the US, the taboo seems finally to be open to...

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Movers and stayers

A lot of discussion of immigration is framed around the distinction between movers and stayers. Until recently, most of what I’ve seen has framed “stayers” as those who see their economic interests as being threatened by competition from immigrants. To protect themselves, they want to restrict immigration, even if the consequence is to restrict the opportunities for “movers” from their own country. The harm to these “movers-out” is just collateral damage But lately I’ve been seeing...

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It’s come to this

To say I’m depressed about the current state of Australian politics would be an understatement. But of all the things that depress me, the possibility of a section 44 case against Josh Frydenberg is the most gratuitously awful. If someone had said, ten years ago, that the Australian-born son of a Jewish refugee was ineligible to stand for Parliament because he had failed to secure necessary documents from the neo-fascist government that currently rules Hungary, they would have been...

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Adani’s silent partners

A month after Adani got the final approvals for its Carmichael mine, it’s still hard to work out what’s going on with Adani and the Galilee Basin in general. Adani has been making a fair bit of noise, but the project still seems to consist of tree clearing and road building. To get past this stage, and without significant in-house experience of major projects, Adani needs partners: engineering design firms, construction contractors, and so on. And even if no external funding is...

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Book launch in Melbourne (please plug!)

The Melbourne launch for Economics in Two Lessons, will be at Readings Hawthorn Wednesday 17 July and also at University House, Melbourne Uni, 4-6 pm Friday 19 July. Free, no booking required. It looks as if there have been some problems with the publicity, so if anyone can share this with Melbourne friends likely to be interested, I’d be very grateful. Like this:Like Loading...

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Monday Message Board

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 Like this:Like Loading...

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