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On holidays again …

I am travelling for most of today across land and water and so have no time to write anything coherent. So it is just a music day to welcome in 2019. Happy New Year to all and lets hope a few banksters go to prison, that a few politicians join them on corruption charges, that Italy tells the European Commission to jump and leaves the Eurozone, that the Gilets in France spread throughout Europe and bring down the whole disastrous monetary union, that Britain goes out without an agreement and that the British Labour Party gets some spine, sacks its New Keynesian advisors, and demonstrates how to actually run fiscal policy, and that … you get the drift.

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On holiday

The blog is on holiday until Thursday, December 27, 2018. All the best from my local beach (Nobbys). Today is an economics free zone. Music discussion if you click on …

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A cartoon to enjoy while I am travelling …

There will be no blog post as such today – it is Wednesday, so a day I am reserving for other things. But I am also travelling most of today and cannot write much. So today there is a cartoon, a podcast, some begging, and plenty of travelling music. Back in full tomorrow.

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Australian workers losing out under neoliberalism

The current conflict in France, while multidimensional, is a reflection that the neoliberal austerity system is not working for ordinary people. All sorts of cross currents feed in to this discontent, some of which (for example, distaste for foreigners/migrants) are clearly not to be encouraged. Most of the claims of the Gilets Jaunes are about the alienation, exclusion and poverty that they feel living in the neoliberal, corporatist EU world. A lot of so-called progressives are out there claiming this is a right-wing ruse advancing climate denial and anti-migrant sentiment. But I consider that to be a typical elite response to any EU discontent to avoid discussion of exit and the paint the critics as being stupid and/or racist. A replay of the Brexit accusations from the Remainers. But the writing is on the wall for the Eurozone countries. People will only tolerate being put down and oppressed for so long. And all is not well elsewhere. Even when a nation has its own currency and has the capacity to avoid the sort of stagnation that many European nations are now wallowing in, the universality of the neoliberal austerity bias is making life hard for not only the low-income cohorts, but, increasingly for the lower tiers of the ‘middle class’ (defined in income terms). Australian workers are feeling that pinch in the land of plenty.

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Database integration

For those who take a feed from my blog - you will note some ‘new’ posts that seem to date back to 2004 and 2005. I am currently integrating (slowly) my initial blog (which was in a different database) into…

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Sleep and reading – Australia bound

Today’s blog post is about sleep and reading. I am travelling from London to Sydney today via Hong Kong so I will not write anything more than a few lines. I will be back in writing mode on Tuesday I should think. For the next 24 hours I have a lot of reading to do. I also provide some advice for those who pack running shoes when travelling.

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Travelling today … but we have videos, music and events

There will be no blog post today other than what follows. I am travelling to the US for The Second International Conference of Modern Monetary Theory in New York. I hope to see a lot of you there. From there I will be heading to Ireland, then London, then Lisbon, then London, then Frankfurt (and environs) for a sequence of speaking commitments. A full itinerary of public events is below. The quiz will still be available tomorrow but this is it until Monday, whence I will report on the MMT Conference (probably).

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Travelling mostly today …

I am travelling most of today and into remote regions to do some fieldwork so I do not have time to write anything substantial. I am researching various issues while in transit and will resume normal services tomorrow when I discuss minimum wages. Then, next Monday’s blog post will discuss the issue of bond spreads, which has been in the news in the last few weeks with the Italian situation. Further, there have been claims that the ECB is deliberately manipulating Italian bond purchases to drive up the spread against the German bund and thus place further pressure on the Italian political mess. Some have argued that by fomenting a sense of crisis in Italy (the rising bond spreads), the ECB has been supporting conservative forces horrified at the prospect of a Euro-skeptic government. It is a little more complex than that but I will write about that in detail next Monday.

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100 years ago today in France …

Today is a public holiday (ANZAC Day) where we remember the efforts of our past generations who fought in wars. I am not very enamoured by the hype that surrounds these days – commercialisation reigns and the black/white nature of the narrative (we were good they were evil) obscures the reality of war and the political machinations that typically accompany it. In Australia’s case our involvement in several wars has been the product of unnecessary colonial master-servant type arrangements (us being the servant) and/or ridiculous alliances with the war mongering US. But the soldiers certainly did it tough and I have sympathy with that – and personal association with my grandparents and parents. Some history to follow as a reflection and some music that I was listening to on the plane as I winged North today.

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