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Steve Keen has often said, the problem with economics in, it ignores thermodynamics. That’s not always been the case. Georgescu-Roegen, a Romanian economist, wrote The Entropy Law and the Economic Process in 1971, which embraced the orle of energy and waste in economics. But we’ve taken backward steps since then. This week Phil Dobbie asks Steve Keen to explain what thermodynamics is and why it is critical to the forward direction for economics. Without it, can we really save the planet?

Steve Keen has often said, the problem with economics in, it ignores thermodynamics. That’s not always been the case. Georgescu-Roegen, a Romanian economist, wrote The Entropy Law and the Economic Process in 1971, which embraced the orle of energy and waste in economics. But we’ve taken backward steps since then. This week Phil Dobbie asks Steve Keen to explain what thermodynamics is and why it is critical to the forward direction for economics. Without it, can we really save the planet?

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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Even the most ardent free marketeer accepts that there is some degree of subsidy needed to support low income earners or necessary industries that are not commercially viable. This has particularly been the case through the pandemic. But what’s the best way of applying these subsidies? If you pay directly to companies will you be inhibiting efficiencies and competition. If you pay directly to consumers how do you know they will spend the as you intended? Should governments be offering payments to individuals that can only be spent in a particular way? And how do you avoid political motivation behind the issuing of subsidies. This week the government published the UK Subsidy Control Bill, which sets out the rules that apply to local authorities and national governments, but not the UK government. To no media scrutiny whatsoever.

Even the most ardent free marketeer accepts that there is some degree of subsidy needed to support low income earners or necessary industries that are not commercially viable. This has particularly been the case through the pandemic. But what’s the best way of applying these subsidies? If you pay directly to companies will you be inhibiting efficiencies and competition. If you pay directly to consumers how do you know they will spend the as you intended? Should governments be offering payments to individuals that can only be spent in a particular way? And how do you avoid political motivation behind the issuing of subsidies. This week the government published the UK Subsidy Control Bill, which sets out the rules that apply to local authorities and national governments, but not the UK government. To no media scrutiny whatsoever.

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

 

From day one economics students are taught that their discipline is all about the optimal allocation of resources. The concept of scarcity is at the very heart of how we are supposed to think. And yet, as Prof Steve Ken explains this week, that scarcity doesn’t really exist. There’s plenty of people available to do jobs, there’s masses of untapped energy potential from the sun. This challenges the idea of opportunity cost – why do A or B when you can do A and B? Ironically, the one recource which is scarce, the environment, is the one element that economics has traditionally blithely ignored. So, if its not to do with managing the allocation of scarce resources, what should be the real definition of economics? Phil Dobbie suggests one – perhaps you can do better.

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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From day one economics students are taught that their discipline is all about the optimal allocation of resources. The concept of scarcity is at the very heart of how we are supposed to think. And yet, as Prof Steve Ken explains this week, that scarcity doesn’t really exist. There’s plenty of people available to do jobs, there’s masses of untapped energy potential from the sun. This challenges the idea of opportunity cost – why do A or B when you can do A and B? Ironically, the one resource which is scarce, the environment, is the one element that economics has traditionally blithely ignored. So, if its not to do with managing the allocation of scarce resources, what should be the real definition of economics? Phil Dobbie suggests one – perhaps you can do better.

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Canada and the west coast of the US have been hit with extreme heat the last week. The town of Lytton in British Columbia reached 49.5C, the result of a heat dome caused by static high-pressure. It’s another reminder that the world has to act on climate change. This week the ECB’s Christine Lagarde talked about how the EU needs to see around €330 billion every year by 2030 to achieve Europe's climate and energy target. Couldn’t they just issue this as bonds, in the same way they have with the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme? And what about Rishi Sunak’s plan in the UK to issue green bonds for regular households to invest in? Will either of these proposals create new money, or simply redirect spending away from other non-green initiatives. Be prepared for another discussion between Phil Dobbie and Steve Keen on when money is actually created and whether some of the proposals could actually destroy money, hindering our efforts to tackle climate change.

Canada and the west coast of the US have been hit with extreme heat the last week. The town of Lytton in British Columbia reached 49.5C, the result of a heat dome caused by static high-pressure. It’s another reminder that the world has to act on climate change. This week the ECB’s Christine Lagarde talked about how the EU needs to see around €330 billion every year by 2030 to achieve Europe's climate and energy target. Couldn’t they just issue this as bonds, in the same way they have with the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme? And what about Rishi Sunak’s plan in the UK to issue green bonds for regular households to invest in? Will either of these proposals create new money, or simply redirect spending away from other non-green initiatives. Be prepared for another discussion between Phil Dobbie and Steve Keen on when money is actually created and whether some of the proposals could actually destroy money, hindering our efforts to tackle climate change.

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

Businesses and politicians have worked tirelessly to reduce the power of workers and dissemble unions. Of course, nobody was better at it than Margaret Thatcher.  But has she, and all those did their damnedest to reduce the power of unions, actually done the country a disservice? Do economies function better with strong unions? Are they the necessary counter to a system that allows companies and financiers to push wages down to the lowest possible level leading to slow economic growth? Questions Phil Dobbie puts to Steve Keen in this week’s 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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Businesses and politicians have worked tirelessly to reduce the power of workers and dissemble unions. Of course, nobody was better at it than Margaret Thatcher.  But has she, and all those did their damnedest to reduce the power of unions, actually done the country a disservice? Do economies function better with strong unions? Are they the necessary counter to a system that allows companies and financiers to push wages down to the lowest possible level leading to slow economic growth? Questions Phil Dobbie puts to Steve Keen in this week’s Debunking Economics podcast.

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