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Podcast episode

EP109 – Philosophy and Truth

In Economics Explored EP109, Dr John Atkins, philosopher and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, provides great insights into the nature of truth, highlighting the importance of trust, probabilistic thinking (i.e. thinking not necessarily about truth but our level of certainty in a fact), and the Socratic method. Show host Gene Tunny shares his own views on the nature of truth, including his commitment to being “radically open-minded”, a stance promoted by legendary investor Ray Dalio (see Principles).  

About this episode’s guest – Dr John Atkins

Dr John Atkins is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the University of Queensland. His research interests include Wittgenstein, Quietism, and Institutional Integrity. He has a PhD from the University of Queensland.

Links relevant to the conversation

EP101 – How do we know what’s true or why trust science?

Ray Dalio says going broke in 1982 was the ‘best thing that ever happened’ to him

Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli (book on Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Quantum Physics mentioned by Gene)

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. You can check out his Upwork profile here.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Economics Explored Live

US inflation and Aussie jobs data – 15 October 21 livestream

Economics Explored Live for 15 October 2021, the first edition of what I’m planning to be a weekly livestream, covered:

  • the growing concern internationally about accelerating inflation, prompted by the latest US CPI figures (see chart below;
  • the September ABS Labour Force data revealing big drops in hours worked and workforce participation in the locked-down economies of NSW and Victoria; and
  • my state of Queensland’s relatively low vaccination rate (72% for 1st dose vs 84% nationally) and what it could mean for the state’s reopening and the economy – it’s pretty obvious the Queensland Premier should set a date for re-opening ASAP to encourage people to get vaccinated promptly, as suggested by the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association.

Here’s the video of the livestream, which was streamed to YouTube and LinkedIn Live:

Regarding inflationary pressures in advanced economies, I quoted leading market economist Stephen Roach from his recent Financial Times op-ed The sequencing trap that risks stagflation 2.0:

As brilliant and lucky as they have been, today’s generation of central bankers is afflicted with the same sense of denial that proved problematic in the 1970s. Due to a lack of experience and institutional memory of that tough period, the risk of another monetary policy blunder cannot be taken lightly.

Certainly, central banks have been running a massive monetary policy experiment with ultra-low interest rates and Quantitative Easing, which have been associated with double-digit growth rates in money stocks. I agree with Roach regarding the potential for a “monetary policy blunder”.

Other links relevant to the livestream include:

Pete Faulkner’s post Labour Force; national data hit by lockdowns while QLD powers ahead

QEW post featuring my The Other Side interview on Australia’s economic suicide

Vaccination numbers and statistics

ABS: New data shows lockdown impacts on business turnover

Cross-posted at http://www.queenslandeconomywatch.com. Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP108 – COP26 climate change summit with Tony Wood, Grattan Institute

In Economics Explored Episode 108, energy and climate change policy expert Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute explains what COP26, the 2021 climate change conference in Glasgow, is all about and why it’s important. Tony discusses what Net Zero emissions means exactly, the prospects for nuclear energy, and implications for fossil fuel (e.g. coal) dependent economies. 

About this episode’s guest – Tony Wood AM

Tony Wood is Program Director for Energy and Climate Change at the Grattan Institute, a leading Australian public policy think tank. Tony has been a Program Director at Grattan since 2011 after 14 years working at Origin Energy in senior executive roles.

From 2009 to 2014 he was also Program Director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation, advising governments in the Asia-Pacific region on effective deployment of large-scale, low-emission energy technologies. In 2008, he was seconded to provide an industry perspective to the first Garnaut climate change review.

In January 2018, Tony was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly in the areas of energy policy, climate change and sustainability. In October 2019, Tony was elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Links relevant to the conversation

Australia’s emissions strategy should be a countdown to zero

EP99 – Carbon border taxes

EP92 – Nuclear energy and decarbonizing economies

EP86 – Decarbonizing the Economy

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP107 – Gender differences in negotiation and policy for improvement

Women tend not to initiate negotiations over pay and conditions as frequently as men, and this contributes to the gender pay gap. In Economics Explored EP107, Dr Maria Recalde from University of Melbourne explains what researchers have learned about gender differences in negotiation and potential policy responses which could improve outcomes for women, such as salary history bans and increased transparency.

About this episode’s guest – Dr Maria Recalde

Dr Maria P. Recalde is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. My main fields of interest are experimental and behavioral economics, public economics, and development.

Links relevant to the conversation with Dr Recalde

Gender Differences in Negotiation and Policy for Improvement

The gender pay gap with Dr Leonora Risse

Gender and the Labor Market: What Have We Learned from Field and Lab Experiments?

You can’t ask this: the spread of salary history bans and what it means for employers

Links mentioned in Gene’s introduction relating to EP106

At an Overrun ICU, ‘the Problem Is We Are Running Out of Hallways’

Heartbreaking plea from ICU nurse: ‘Bodies are piling up’

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. Check out Josh’s Upwork profile.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP106 – COVID lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and vaping with Dr Gilbert Berdine

A Texas physician, university lecturer in medicine, and affiliate of a free market think tank Gilbert Berdine MD explains why he thinks COVID lockdowns have been “a disaster” and why he does not support vaccine mandates.

At a time when the COVID pandemic continues, and cities such as Sydney and Melbourne remain locked down, Gilbert Berdine MD from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center shares his views on lockdowns and vaccine mandates with show host Gene Tunny. The conversation also explores Dr Berdine’s views on regulations regarding vaping or e-cigarettes.

About this episode’s guest – Gilbert G. Berdine MD

Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX

Faculty Affiliate, Free Market Institute, Lubbock, TX

Dr. Berdine earned his B.S. degrees in chemistry and life sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA and his M.D. degree from Harvard University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now called Brigham and Women’s Hospital) in Boston, MA.

Dr. Berdine was a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio from 1983-1989. He was in the private practice of medicine from 1989-2009 when he returned to academia as a faculty member of TTUHSC.

Dr. Berdine’s current teaching activities include lecturer for the respiratory blocks in the 1st year Major Organ Systems course and the 2nd year Systems Disorders 1 course. His clinical duties include staff attending physician for the inpatient Pulmonary Consult Service, inpatient Internal Medicine Floor Service, and the outpatient Pulmonary Fellow Clinic. He also sees patients in the Pulmonary Clinic for Texas Tech Physicians.

Dr. Berdine’s research interests include the application of Austrian Economics to health care delivery and consumption. Dr. Berdine has published articles on these topics in peer reviewed journals and is a contributor to the Mises Daily Wire and the American Institute of Economic Research.

Contact: gilbert.berdine@ttuhsc.edu

Links relevant to the conversation

COVID-19 Vaccines and the Delta Variant – AIER article by Gilbert Berdine MD

Lockdowns of Young People Lead to More Deaths from Covid-19 – AIER article by Gilbert Berdine MD

Covid Misclassification: What Do the Data Suggest? – AIER article by Gilbert Berdine MD

Sometimes hesitancy is justified by Gilbert Berdine MD

Vaping Laws and the Treachery of Good Intentions by Gilbert Berdine MD

EP100 – Incentivizing Vaccinations or Cash for Jabs

Correspondence from Dr Berdine on COVID mortality rates

…the mortality rate has a range of over 1000:1 depending on your age. The average mortality is heavily determined by the number of people over age 80 in the population. 

Based on latest census data and current CDC figures for COVID deaths

https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/age-and-sex/2019-age-sex-composition.html

https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Sex-and-Age/9bhg-hcku

Mortality expressed as 1/mortality : 

Age: Mortality

Under 5: 124,126

5 to 14: 283,027

15 to 24: 32,461

25 to 34: 7,850

35 to 44: 2,845

45 to 54: 1,087

55 to 64: 475

65 to 74: 213

75 to 84: 87

85 +: 31

Cumulative Age

Under 5: 124,126

Under 15: 199,917

Under 25: 64,258

Under 35: 20,120

Under 45: 8,681

Under 55: 3,880

So, for 35 and younger, the cumulative mortality including the overcounting is less than 1/10,000. If one looks at annual mortality, the figure  for Under 45 including overcounting is likely less than 1/10,000. If one adjusts modestly for overcounting, the  figure for Under 55 is likely less than 1/10,000.

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP105 – Why bad social norms such as FGM persist with Dr David Smerdon

Economics Explored EP105 considers the persistence of bad social norms such as female genital mutilation (FGM). Show host Gene Tunny speaks with University of Queensland Lecturer (i.e. Assistant Professor) Dr David Smerdon about his experimental research on social norms, including fieldwork in Africa relating to FGM.  

About this episode’s guest – Dr David Smerdon

Dr David Smerdon is a Lecturer in the University of Queensland School of Economics. He primarily works in behavioral and development economics. His research involves theory and modelling, experiments in the lab and field, and microeconometric analysis in order to investigate topics at the intersection of these fields.

David earned his PhD from the Tinbergen Institute and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) as a General Sir John Monash scholar, and afterwards worked as a PODER fellow at Bocconi University in Milan. Prior to his academic career, David spent three years working for the Australian Department of Treasury as a policy analyst. Aside from economics, David is also a chess Grandmaster and has represented Australia at seven chess Olympiads.

Links relevant to the conversation

‘Everybody’s doing it’: On the persistence of bad social norms (journal article co-authored by Dr David Smerdon, which contains details of the experiment he ran)

The economic impact of female genital mutilation (an article by David on his FGM research project)

The Institutional Revolution: Measurement and the Economic Emergence of the Modern World by Douglas W. Allen

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP104 – Victimless Crimes with Marc J. Victor

Victimless crimes arguably include drug possession, prostitution, and many other offences. Highly experienced criminal lawyer Marc J. Victor says victimless crimes are not really crimes at all. Decriminalising these offences would avoid the huge economic and social costs related to prosecuting and imprisoning people who commit victimless crimes.

On Economics Explored we’ve previously discussed the large economic and social costs that arise from criminalising drugs such as cannabis. In episode 104, show host Gene Tunny discusses the broader concept of victimless crimes with a highly-experienced lawyer, Marc J. Victor, President and Managing Partner of Attorneys for Freedom.

About this episode’s guest – Marc J. Victor

Marc J. Victor is President and Managing Partner of Attorneys for Freedom. He is a certified Criminal Law Specialist in Arizona and is admitted to practise in Arizona and Hawai’i. Over nearly three decades, Marc has represented clients in more than a thousand major felony cases. 

As a long-time freedom activist, Marc is regularly invited to speak to audiences across Arizona on a variety of issues including ending the drug war, the rights of gun owners, the free market, criminal justice issues as well as a variety of other criminal law related issues. Most recently, Marc has spoken on the Live and Let Live Principle, the foundation upon which he has established The World’s Only Real Peace Movement (www.liveandletlive.org).

Marc has been quoted locally, nationally and internationally on radio, television, in print and in person as a legal commentator and expert on many local and national cases.  He was an expert legal commentator for local NBC 12 News for the Jodi Arias case. Marc and firm partner Andrew Marcantel host The Peace Radicals Podcast with a new episode every Friday. The Peace Radicals is available on most streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify and is also available to watch on YouTube.

Links relevant to the conversation

Economics Explored episode 19: Cannabis with Dr Stephen Thornton

Victimless Crimes Are Not Really Crimes At All – Attorney Marc J. Victor – Attorneys For Freedom – YouTube

Ending the War on Drugs: By the Numbers – Center for American Progress

Peace Radicals Episode 36 – Mask Mandates, Vaccines, Lockdowns, and The Live and Let Live Philosophy

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Uncategorized

EP103 – Ayn Rand, Self-esteem, and Three Minute Therapy with Dr Michael Edelstein

In Economics Explored Episode 103, Dr Michael Edelstein explains why Ayn Rand’s concept of self-esteem is unreasonable and unhelpful. Program host Gene Tunny asks Michael to explain his Three Minute Therapy approach, which is solidly based in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).  

About Dr Michael Edelstein

Michael R. Edelstein, Ph.D., has an in-person and telephone therapy practice in San Francisco. He is the author of Three Minute Therapy, a self-help book for overcoming common emotional and behavioral problems, for which he has been awarded Author of the Year. The book was a Quality Paperback Book Club/Book-of-the-Month Club Selection, a Behavioral Sciences Book Service Book Club Selection, and an Albert Ellis Institute Selection. His 2009 book, Stage Fright, includes interviews with Robin Williams, Jason Alexander, Melissa Etheridge, Maya Angelou, and others, relating their personal experiences and wisdom in coping with performance anxiety.

Links relevant to the conversation

Michael’s website – http://threeminutetherapy.com/

Michael Edelstein – Why Ayn Rand’s Self Esteem is Unreasonable [Capitalism & Morality Seminar 2015] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMHFGfVnZQ0

‘Fountainhead’ a good read beneath the controversy http://brandeishoot.com/2012/01/27/fountainhead-a-good-read-beneath-the-controversy/

William F. Buckley Jr. speaks with Charlie Rose about Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged – https://youtu.be/5KmPLkiqnO8

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP102 – Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem

Nobel Prize winner Kenneth Arrow proved a startling theorem in his PhD thesis. Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem raises big questions about democratic decision making. Episode 102 of Economics Explored features a conversation regarding what it means and how much it should concern us. University of Queensland Senior Lecturer Dr Priscilla Man discusses Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem with Economics Explored host Gene Tunny.

Links relevant to the conversation

Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem

Kenneth Arrow’s legacy and why elections can be flawed

The paradox of democracy: Arrow impossibility explained

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP101 – How do we know what’s true or why trust science?

In these times of intense debate over COVID-19 and climate change policies, it is important to ask what theories and evidence we can trust – i.e. how do we know what’s true or why trust science? In Episode 101, Economics Explored host Gene Tunny tackles this topic with returning guest Tim Hughes in a first instalment of what will probably end up being a multi-episode conversation. 

Links relevant to the conversation include:

Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes 

Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists – YouTube

What Is This Thing Called Science?

What Seattle learned from having the highest minimum wage in the nation – Vox

What evidence should social policymakers use by Andrew Leigh

EP60 Minimum wages and employment

EP14 Randomised controlled trials & economic development

Please get in touch with any questions, comments and suggestions by emailing us at contact@economicsexplored.com. Economics Explored is available via Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.