Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sustaining some faith in economists

Economics journalist Ross Gittins has come to play an important role in Australia's body politic.  Amongst readers of the Fairfax Press, and generations of  students studying economics for their Higher School Certificate (and its variations),  he almost single-handedly sustains some faith in the economics profession.  As I have blogged before,  I do not always agree with him.  In terms of heterodoxy within economics he rarely strays far from the mainstream.  But that is a particularly Australian affliction anyway.

Several Gittins columns from 2010 and 2011 made it into my cutout pile (I know, very last century as is my pocket diary).  These included 'Politicians confound classical theory that competetition leads to greater choice'  (The Age, August 30, 2010); 'People aren't donkeys so best put away the carrot and stick' (The Age, April 20, 2011) and 'Breakdown in relations is everyone's business'.  On the strength of my enthusiasm for this last article I sent Ross a copy of my book, 'Systems Practice. How to Act in a Climate-change World’.  My systems-theoretical arguments - and their practical implications - extend and strengthen the arguments made in that piece.  It is also an argument in favour of the Systemic and Adaptive Governance Research Program that I am running.

It remains to be seen if Ross sees the same connections and possibilities?