Mental health is an issue that impacts a growing number of people, not helped by the COVID 19 lockdown. Divya Dhami, an undergraduate student from the University of British Columbia, says the economy is paying for it in terms of reduced productivity. Money investied in fixing the problem would be recovered through increased GDP. But isn’t GDP part of the problem? Phil Dobbie asks whether the wellbeing index is a better measure of government success? Steve Keen suggests debt is a significant part of the problem – in the good old days students went to university to learn and it was a relaxing experience. But there are behavioural issues too – like addiction. Just how far do we want the state to intervene?

Governments everywhere have been pledging billions of dollars – in some cases, trillions – to help their economies navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of it has been spent supporting businesses and helping to sustain people’s income. But what happens when we come out the other side. Quantitative easing is now widespread, but there’s still an expectation those central ban purchases will be wound back. So what does that mean for the post-pandemic economy? A question Phil Dobbie puts to Prof Steve Keen in this edition of the Debunking Economics podcast. And are there countries who can’t run up debts? Or companies or industries that can’t operate effectively with the potential debt they have been forced to build up. Just how long will we be paying for the last few months?

To hear the full version subscribe by picking a plan in the right column of the Debunking Economics website (not the mobile app). Or become a supporter at https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen

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Governments everywhere have been pledging billions of dollars – in some cases, trillions – to help their economies navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of it has been spent supporting businesses and helping to sustain people’s income. But what happens when we come out the other side. Quantitative easing is now widespread, but there’s still an expectation those central ban purchases will be wound back. So what does that mean for the post-pandemic economy? A question Phil Dobbie puts to Prof Steve Keen in this edition of the Debunking Economics podcast. And are there countries who can’t run up debts? Or companies or industries that can’t operate effectively with the potential debt they have been forced to build up. Just how long will we be paying for the last few months?

There are all sorts of theories on why there is such a huge discrepancy in income in society, and why it differs from one country to the next. For example, why does the USA have a far worse Gini index (41.4) than Japan (32.9)? Whilst there’s been lots of debate around education, ability, inheritance and opportunity, Blair Fix at York University in Toronto, has concluded that society’s hierarchy is really the overarching influence. If he’s right, that means regulation is the only way to stop income becoming so divided. Listen in to catch up on Blair’s work, in this three-way discussion with Phil in the UK, Steve Keen in Thailand and Blair in Canada.

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Economists tend to see income as related to the value labour adds to a product or service. By that rationale, during this crisis, nurses helping save lives contribute only a fraction of the CEOs who are watching their companies fall apart. Or is something else driving inequality? It’s largely the growth of the rentier class, says Steve Keen. Phil Dobbie asks whether technology could also be making thinks worse, not better. Is a skilled carpenter forced to charge less because of the availability of mass produced pre-packed furniture? And how can lots of office jobs, which create nothing, pay more than jobs that add directly to the value of something? Even if we fully understand the causes of inequality, will we ever rid ourselves of it?

Economists tend to see income as related to the value labour adds to a product or service. By that rationale, during this crisis, nurses helping save lives contribute only a fraction of the CEOs who are watching their companies fall apart. Or is something else driving inequality? It’s largely the growth of the rentier class, says Steve Keen. Phil Dobbie asks whether technology could also be making thinks worse, not better. Is a skilled carpenter forced to charge less because of the availability of mass produced pre-packed furniture? And how can lots of office jobs, which create nothing, pay more than jobs that add directly to the value of something? Even if we fully understand the causes of inequality, will we ever rid ourselves of it?

To hear the full version subscribe by picking a plan in the right column of the Debunking Economics website (not the mobile app). Or become a supporter at https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen

 

Companies and governments are racking up massive debts to cope with the impact of COVID-19. Apart from grants for a month or two of partial salaries, the approach has largely been to extend easy short-term credit to those people and businesses struggling to survive. We can expect, once an initial amnesty on repayments has passed, many of these companies will go to the wall, adding to the massive peak in unemployment.  How can economies grow when individuals are piled high in debt and governments are forced to use austerity to repay their massive spending programs. Steve Keen has argued that debt needs to be written-off, even before the Corona crisis. Now seems like the right time for society to discuss the benefits of a debt jubilee. The only downside seems to be a significant reduction in the size of the finance sector. Can we live with that? Or, perhaps they can shift their emphasis to more productive investments.

In some parts of the world politicians, investors, business leaders and economists are behaving as though the Corona virus is almost eradicated. There are talks of easing up on restrictions, even though it’s only through the lockdown that infection rates have been held back. If, instead, we believe epidemiologists, who tell us this thing is with us for some time, what will life be like on the other side. Phil Dobbie asks Prof Steve Keen for his views on how our lifestyle and ways of business will change. Steve says it’s the beginning of a fundamental change in the way we interact with our planet.

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He has been called the ‘Father of Economics’, but how much of what he talked about and wrote about has stood the test of time? Have we fully understood his ideas of free trade and the invisible hand? And why is a man, who cared so much about the plight of the poor, now seen as the poster boy for the right and those with money to protect? Phil Dobbie talks to Prof Steve Keen about the work of Adam Smith – the good and bad – on this episode of the Debunking Economics Podcast.

He has been called the ‘Father of Economics’, but how much of what he talked about and wrote about has stood the test of time? Have we fully understood his ideas of free trade and the invisible hand? And why is a man, who cared so much about the plight of the poor, now seen as the poster boy for the right and those with money to protect? Phil Dobbie talks to Prof Steve Keen about the work of Adam Smith – the good and bad – on this episode of the Debunking Economics Podcast.

To hear the full version subscribe by picking a plan in the right column of the Debunking Economics website (not the mobile app). Or become a supporter at https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeen

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