Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Today's Economics Seminar

Today was another enjoyable economics again reviewing the neo-classical economics, through the Great Depression then into ideas of today's world with a video presentation of John Pilger's "New Rulers of the World" from 2000. Pilger goes into Indonesia to investigate the underworld of sweatshop labour, the IMF's response (Stanley Fisher's quite defensive reply) to Suharto's regime and how the world was amazed by this Asian miracle which was in fact made up of authoritative bosses, corrupt and unaccountable, and the poor left in work camps with poor sanitation and no water access.

Stuff I'm reading: The Perverse Economy: The Impact of Markets on People and the Environment"
One of the speakers from the conference, Perelman describes how the market becomes unjust to people and the environment with applicable economic theory. From his opening remarks, I like how he drew upon the 18th century British aristocrats who were too lazy and unconcerned with the agricultural land that they ruled hundreds of kilometres away, were only brought out to the countryside during gaming season. Only then could the people speak to the landowner of their concerns. This de-motivated state and landowner's decision making based on little information led to Adam Smith's idea of the rule of markets and the demand and supply curves we all have seen in Econ 101. At the conference, he also related this 18th century case to South Africa apartheid.

If anyone is interested in access to the books that I mention on my blog, give me a shout by email.

Besides that, the weather has turned for the better so I've been out for runs in the afternoon at the beach, lots of back stretches, and by sunset watching the ghost crabs crawl out of their dugged up holes and scurry back into the ocean.

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