New Economy Journal

Volume 2, Issue 2

Cover photo: Nilmini De Silva

May 6, 2020

Welcome from the editors.

Welcome to the New Economy Journal’s second edition of 2020, one of our largest and most diverse offerings since the Journal launched last year.

Within its pages, you’ll find fiery polemics on the radical opportunities which COVID-19 presents progressive forces, thought-provoking ruminations on Modern Monetary Theory and government debt, a fascinating research piece on the opportunities associated with Northern Australia’s carbon economy and musings on the role of art in times of civilization-threatening bushfires and pandemics. There are the usual inclusions of book excerpts and book reviews, and a continuation of a long-running NEJ debate on overpopulation in Australia.

As the Journal is a forum for debate, we hope you’ll disagree with some of the articles in this issue. We believe that through respectful disagreement and engagement, we can sharpen our learning about how to build a new, just and sustainable economy.

Happy reading.

The Editors

 

Table of Contents

Demand the Future: COVID-19 and the Economics of Opportunity

Jacob Debets

Demand the Future: COVID-19 and the Economics of Opportunity
We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered. Martin Luther King Jr. “Beyond Vietnam”, 1967 Crises...

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What is the Point of Art in the Apocalypse / Pandemic / Recession?

Catherine van Wilgenburg

What is the Point of Art in the Apocalypse / Pandemic / Recession?
Catherine van Wilgenburg writes about her March 2020 FLOAT Artist in Residency on a houseboat in Lake Tyers, East Gippsland; in collaboration with photographer Nilmini de Silva.‘Swimming Upstream’ is a series of podcasts and photo-portraits about how East Gippsland creative entrepreneurs have been impacted by bushfires, COVID19 and the threat...

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Integral Accounting: Reframing Human Engagement

Christine McDougall

Integral Accounting: Reframing Human Engagement
Considering value in 6 domains – some non transferable – never giving any one domain dominion over another. Look around you. Lift your head from the computer and notice your surroundings. We live in a world rich with diversity. Multi-sensory, multi-colour. From where I sit I can see trees, the...

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New Economic Opportunities in Northern Australia: A Case Study of Carbon Economy

Kamaljit K Sangha

New Economic Opportunities in Northern Australia: A Case Study of Carbon Economy
What are the current economic development opportunities in Northern Australia Northern Australia offers unique and rich natural resources including an undisturbed 1.9km2 swath of savannas in the North (Image 1). Currently, about 90% of the landscape is used for beef production, mostly under unmodified pastures, with much of the remaining...

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Wait, can we just print money to solve financial need?

Scott Colvin

Wait, can we just print money to solve financial need?
It’s a sign of the times. Government purses around the world have flung open with reckless abandon and the cash is flowing. Stimulus, baby! A radical economic idea (as far as a thing can be radical in unradical times) has been getting around of late, by the name of Modern...

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Some Facts About Debt

Emma Dawson, Matthew Lloyd Cape, Per Capita

Some Facts About Debt
As the federal government pumps unprecedented amounts of spending into the Australian economy to offset the damage from the worst economic shock in living memory, talk is starting to turn to the fear of the long-term debt this will create. This fear is largely misplaced, and results from decades of...

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2042: Reflecting on the Tipping Point Year

Nilmini De Silva

2042: Reflecting on the Tipping Point Year
The juices from the delicious peach I’m eating run down my arm. The wind from the Lake is rustling through the littoral rainforest. I let it caress my hair while I lightly place my hand on the shoulders of Tanya and signal that perhaps we should sit for a while....

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Dear Economics: Did COVID-19 Get to You Too?

Klelia Guerrero García

Dear Economics: Did COVID-19 Get to You Too?
What’s wrong with our economic system? Professor Frank Stilwell has recently suggested that its limited evolution and inability to connect the science of economics with contemporary issues are two main issues, and pointed to the diminished demand for economics degrees as a symptom of economics’ ailment. Stilwell is not alone:...

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Our future is in our hands

Bernard Thomson

Our future is in our hands
Over recent weeks and months the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on our society and the global community. We have suffered massive losses to our economy, leaving an unknown employment future for many Australians. We have also accepted dramatic limitations to our ability to participate in social and...

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Population is a Driver of Environmental Impact: a Response to Duncan Wallace

Mark Diesendorf

Population is a Driver of Environmental Impact: a Response to Duncan Wallace
I am disappointed by Duncan Wallaces’s response (NEJ, October 2019) to the articles by Kurt Johnson (NEJ, April 2019) , Mark Diesendorf (NEJ, June 2019) and Haydn Washington (NEJ, July 2019), which drew attention to the environmental impacts of human population on a finite planet. The subtitle of Wallace’s article...

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After the Virus, After Neoliberalism: Manage for Quality of Life, not Quantity of Stuff

Geoff Davies

After the Virus, After Neoliberalism: Manage for Quality of Life, not Quantity of Stuff
As Menzies foresaw, we have had economic anarchy, and both security and progress have disappeared. A spirited contest of ideas has already started regarding how we emerge from the coronavirus shutdown. The Prime Minister is talking about ‘snapping back’ to what we were before. Some would like to use the...

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Book Excerpt: The Good State

A.C. Grayling

Book Excerpt: The Good State
The fallacy in hoping that the people who populate and operate a democracy’s institutions will not abuse the latitude for action they find in them is illustrated by Han Fei’s story of the farmer and the hare. The story is that a farmer was ploughing a field in the middle...

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Democracy, with all its Shortcomings, is Still Worth Defending

Jacob Debets

Democracy, with all its Shortcomings, is Still Worth Defending
NEJ’s Managing Editor Jacob Debets shares some brief thoughts on Astra Taylor’s 2019 Book ‘Democracy May Not Exist But We’ll Miss it When it’s Gone’ (excerpt published in NEJ, March 2020) Astra Taylor’s book ‘Democracy May Not Exist But We’ll Miss it When it’s Gone’ (Verso, 2019) is, at its...

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