Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Reminder: Economics for Real People tonight … [updated]

I’m afraid students are still away on their mid-year break (insert obvious jokes here about the work ethic of modern students) so no regular Thursday event for another couple of weeks, but the Auckland Uni Econ group is still gathering tonight to co-host this event. Why not get along?

RECENT WRITING BY OR ABOUT CHRIS BERG:

  • The prospect of ministerial discretion to strip citizenship without judicial review is just a tiny window into a much deeper problem.
        “For instance, Australian governments have vested more and more decision-making power outside Parliament and into “independent” bureaucratic agencies. These undemocratic, unelected officials have enough discretionary power to effectively make government policy. …
        “Gillian Triggs was right to say our democratic freedoms are under threat. Still, did she see any irony in the fact that the democratically elected Abbott government obviously wants to fire her but – since she commands an independent statutory agency – it cannot?”
    Unelected officials are stifling our democratic freedoms – THE AGE
  • “We often imagine that our modern concerns are distinct from those of the past.  But how much legislative power the executive could exercise without parliamentary approval was one of the great contests in the lead-up to the English Civil War.  The seventeenth century English historian Roger Twysden declared that “the basis or ground of all the liberty and franchise of the subject” was “this maxim, that the king cannot alone alter the law”.  Yet through executive pronouncements and delegation governments have vested vast legislative power in what scholars call “non-majoritarian” regulatory and bureaucratic agencies.””
    The Undone Tasks of Deregulation
  • So I read Chris Berg’s new book Liberty, Equality and Democracy. Very highly recommended. I loved it. In the book he makes the radical argument that people should be treated equally as individuals. He makes very clear that this is a radical argument.
        “The only time I disagreed with any point he was making was, I think, a typo. Indeed that is my only criticism of the book – there were several obvious typos and I expect the revised edition (or even second edition) should fix those.
        “Overall I was so impressed with the book that I imagine that one day some fine classical liberal will thump down the book and say, “This is what we believe”.”
    Book Review: Liberty, Equality & Democracy – Sinclair Davidson, CATALLAXY FILES

  • Classical liberalism, the tradition of free markets and individual liberty, has an outsider status in the Australian economics profession. This paper surveys the origin of Australian classical liberal economics in the nineteenth century, its sharp decline in the first half of the twentieth century, and its revival and growth in recent decades. Despite a period of successful market-oriented economic reform in the 1980s and 1990s, surveys suggest that classical liberalism is a minority viewpoint among Australian economists.
        “Currently the only critical mass of classical liberal academic economists in Australia is at RMIT University in Melbourne. …”

    Classical liberalism around the world – Rafe Champion, CATALLAXY FILES

UPDATE: Chris Berg appeared on TV3 this morning. (Warning, video contains traces of Paul Henry.)

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[Click the pic for the vid, or click here.]

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