"john quiggin"

Trial begins for the "cum/ex" bankers accused of stealing €447m and trying for €60b

You know that late-stage capitalism is upon us when a financial scandal targeting €60 billion in fraud against public treasuries is lost in the noise of other scandals. Read the rest

The case for allowing children to vote

Writing on Crooked Timber, John Quiggin (previously) responds to the epidemic of elderly reactionaries piling vitriol and violent rhetoric on the child activist Greta Thunberg and asks, why not let kids vote? Read the rest

Most Republican voters were Trumpists before Trump, and most of the rest have converted since 2016

John Quiggin's essay about "Transactional Trumpism" really nailed it for me: if the story is that Republicans chose Trump as their candidate because they were sure that he would enact "the Republican agenda" they didn't get a very good deal: all Trump has managed is the bare minimum that any Republican would have done, putting far-right ideologues on the Supreme Court and handing gigantic tax-breaks to the super-rich. Read the rest

Triangulation is dead: what does "socialism" mean in the 21st century?

Thirty years ago, the collapse of the USSR and the ascendancy of the neoliberal policies of Thatcher, Reagan, Pinochet and Mulroney sent the left into retreat, and what has passed for the left ever since has been dominated by Bill Clinton/Tony Blair-style "triangulation" or "humanized capitalism," whose core hypothesis might be summed up as, "Rather than allowing 150 white male CEOs to run the world, we should ensure that at least half of them are women and/or people of color." Read the rest

Politicians like it when economists disagree because then they can safely ignore the ones they dislike

In a new paper in International Studies Quarterly, John Quiggin and Henry Farrell argue that politicians get in trouble when they buck a consensus among economists, but when economists are divided, they can simply ignore the ones they disagree with -- so politicians spend a lot of time looking for economists who agree with their policies, then elevate them to the same status as their peers in order to create a safe, blame-free environment to operate in. Read the rest

Neoliberalism, Brexit (and Bernie)

John Quiggin (previously) delivers some of the most salient commentary on the Brexit vote and how it fits in with Syriza, Podemos, Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders (etc) as well as Trump, French neo-fascists, and other hypernationalist movements. Read the rest

There Is Such a Thing As a Free Lunch

On Crooked Timber, John Quiggin has been rehearsing the arguments from an upcoming book called "Economics in Two Lessons," and the latest installment asks why, if there's no such thing as a "free lunch," we're not all still living in caves? Read the rest

Greece says NO

The people of Greece have rejected the debt-finance terms offered by the "troika" (European Central Bank, IMF, European Commission), which would have required the country to slash its social services as a condition of continued loans to support the debt that previous governments amassed in the runup to the 2008 crisis. Read the rest

Open net-seminar on Benkler's "Wealth of Networks"

Siva sez, "Crooked Timber is hosting a great seminar on Yochai Benkler's new book, The Wealth of Networks. CT solicited commentary essays from Henry Farrell, Dan Hunter, John Quiggin, Jack Balkin, Eszter Hargittai, and Siva Vaidhyanathan. Benkler has responded to all of them. The discussion ensues in the comments. This is an excellent teaching tool."

I've just started reading Wealth of Networks and it's just blowing my mind. Benkler's articulating the case for open source, open content and other collaborative efforts in a way I've never encountered, making the case that what we've got here is a new mode of industrial production, something not subject to the traditional economics of charity, government spending, or capitalism. As a reminder, the full text of the book is available under a Creative Commons license, too.

Henry Farrell argues that not only formal institutions but also informal norms are necessary for these technologies to enable proper collaboration. Dan Hunter celebrates the book, but worries that it covers too many topics, and that it’s written in language that non-academic readers may have difficulty in understanding. John Quiggin examines the underlying motivations behind the production of common resources, and suggests that Benkler’s arguments point to major flaws in innovation policy. Eszter Hargittai suggests that inequalities in the ability to participate may mean that these new technologies won’t do as much to flatten social hierarchies as they might seem to. Jack Balkin claims that Benkler’s book isn’t so much about new modes of cooperation replacing market mechanisms, as existing side-by-side with them.

Read the rest