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Podcast episode

EP115 – The Opioid Crisis and the War on Drugs

100,000 Americans have died of drug overdoses in a 12 month period, mostly with opioids. Economics Explored EP115 features a conversation on the US Opioid crisis and the failed War on Drugs, and why a Harm Reduction approach is preferable, with Dr Jeff Singer MD from the Cato Institute. 

About this episode’s guest – Dr Jeffrey Singer MD

Jeffrey A. Singer is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and works in the Department of Health Policy Studies. He is principal and founder of Valley Surgical Clinics Ltd., the largest and oldest group private surgical practice in Arizona, and has been in private practice as a general surgeon for more than 35 years.

He is also a visiting fellow at the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix. Singer is a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the American Council on Science and Health. From 1994 to 2016, he was a regular contributor to Arizona Medicine, the journal of the Arizona Medical Association. He served on the Advisory Board Council of the Center for Political Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University from 2014 to 2018 and is an adjunct instructor in the Program on Political History and Leadership at ASU. He writes and speaks extensively on regional and national public policy, with a specific focus on the areas of health care policy and the harmful effects of drug prohibition.

He received his BA from Brooklyn College (City University of New York) and his MD from New York Medical College. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Jeff is @dr4liberty on Twitter. 

The North Carolina study:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26333030/

 The Harvard/Johns Hopkins study on misuse rates in opioid naive post-surgical patients:

https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.j5790

 The Cicero study on the rise of heroin as the “gateway” drug:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28582659/

Jeff’s report in the Journal of Pain Research:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6369835/

Jeff’s Quadrant article on e-cigarettes:

https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/public-health/2021/10/whose-lungs-are-they-anyway/

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 or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP114 – Tax rules benefiting tech titans and hedge fund managers

Controversial US tax rules mean that tech titans and hedge fund managers can pay arguably a relatively low amount of tax, as Steve Rosenthal, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, explains to show host Gene Tunny in Economics Explored episode 114. Steve also talks with Gene about former President Trump’s tax affairs in this episode.

About this episode’s guest – Steven M. Rosenthal

Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, researches, speaks, and writes on a range of federal income tax issues, with a particular focus on business taxes. In 2013, he was the staff director of the DC Tax Revision Commission.

Before joining Urban, Rosenthal practiced tax law in Washington, DC, for over 25 years, most recently as a partner at Ropes and Gray. He was a legislation counsel with the Joint Committee on Taxation, where he helped draft tax rules for financial institutions, financial products, capital gains, and related areas. He is the former chair of the Taxation Section of the District of Columbia Bar Association.

Rosenthal holds an AB and JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MPP from Harvard University.

Tax Fairness: President Donald Trump, a Case Study (Steve’s testimony before the U.S. House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee)

Buy, borrow, die: How rich Americans live off their paper wealth (WSJ article)

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 or sending a voice message via https://www.speakpipe.com/economicsexplored. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP113 – Lithium and the new energy revolution with Lukasz Bednarski

Lithium, the third element on the periodic table, is contained in the batteries which power laptops and electric vehicles. It is essential to what the author of a new book calls a “global energy revolution”.

In Economics Explored episode 113, Lukasz Bendarski talks about his new book Lithium: The Global Race for Battery Dominance and the New Energy Revolution with show host Gene Tunny. The blurb for Lukasz’s book reads:

“A global energy revolution is unfolding before our eyes: ever-growing numbers of electric vehicles on our roads, laptops that last all day on a single charge and solar panels on our roofs, all reliant on lithium-ion batteries. This revolution is happening at breath-taking speed, with the potential to completely transform key industries and the way we live. For the first time in history, we can now actually store this green energy we talk so much about. Often referred to as ‘the new oil’, lithium allows large amounts of energy to be squeezed into a very small space.”

About this episode’s guest – Lukasz Bednarski

Lukasz Bednarski is a battery materials analyst, founder of the lithium industry portal Lithium Today and a former commodity trader.

Lithium: The Global Race for Battery Dominance and the New Energy Revolution by Lukasz Bednarski

Amazon page for Lukasz’s book

How Tesla’s Battery Mastermind Is Tackling EV’s Biggest Problem

Are aviation biofuels ready for take off?

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. Alternatively, please send a voice message via Speakpipe. Economics Explored is available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, and other podcasting platforms.

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Podcast episode

EP112 – Taxing the rich: Billionaire and inheritance taxes

There are growing calls to increase taxes on the wealthy in advanced economies such as the United States and Australia. For instance, US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez controversially wore a white evening dress with the words “Tax the Rich” written in red across it to the 2021 Met Gala. In Economics Explored episode 112, Australian tax expert Professor Miranda Stewart speaks with show host Gene Tunny about taxes on wealth, including inheritance taxes and the proposed billionaire tax in the United States. What is driving calls to “Tax the Rich” from politicians such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and various commentators? Would it be sensible to do so? 

About this episode’s guest – Professor Miranda Stewart

Miranda Stewart is Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne Law School where she is Director of the Tax Group and is a Fellow at the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. Miranda was the inaugural Director of the Institute from 2014 to 2017. Miranda has more than 25 years research, practical and leadership experience in tax law and policy in academia, government and the private sector.

Death duties: Why experts think this tax should be re-introduced (Australian media article quoting Prof. Stewart on inheritance tax)

The coming boom in inherited wealth by John Quiggin

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

EP111 – Australian Senator Matt Canavan – COP26 Dissenting Voices Part 2

In Episode 111, Australian Senator Matt Canavan, Australia’s most prominent critic of the Net Zero by 2050 policy to address climate change, speaks with Economics Explored host Gene Tunny about the 2021 UN climate change summit, COP26 (i.e. the 26th Conference of the Parities) and policies to address climate change. 

About this episode’s guest – Senator Matt Canavan

Matt Canavan is a Liberal National Party Senator for the state of Queensland, Australia. Matt was first elected at the 2013 Australian federal election for the term beginning 1 July 2014. He was the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia between February 2016 and February 2020. Matt holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Economics (Hons.) from the University of Queensland. He has professional experience working as an economist in Australia’s Productivity Commission, and he has also worked as a consultant at KPMG. Matt’s main office is in Rockhampton, in Central Queensland.

Matt spoke with Gene over Zoom while located in his Parliament House office in Canberra, Australia. The conversation was recorded on Friday 22 October 2021. 

Links relevant to the conversation

FLASHBACK: Queensland’s hydrogen-powered car | 7NEWS

Global Coal Plant Tracker

EP110 – COP26 Dissenting Voices Part 1 – Dr Alan Moran

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

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

EP110 – COP26 Dissenting Voices Part 1: Dr Alan Moran

In Economics Explored Episode 110, Dr Alan Moran, prominent Australian critic of climate change and renewable energy policies, speaks with show host Gene Tunny about the 2021 UN climate change summit, COP26 (i.e. the 26th Conference of the Parities).

About this episode’s guest – Dr Alan Moran

Dr Alan Moran is Director of Regulation Economics, a consultancy firm. He is a noted economist who, in his own words, “has analysed and written extensively from a free market perspective.”  Dr Moran was the Director of the Deregulation Unit at the Australian Institute of Public Affairs from 1996 until 2014. He was previously a senior official in Australia’s Productivity Commission and Director of the Australian Government’s Office of Regulation Review. Subsequently, he played a leading role in the development of energy policy and competition policy review as the Deputy Secretary for Energy in the Victorian Government. Dr Moran was educated in the UK and has a PhD in transport economics from the University of Liverpool and degrees from the University of Salford and the London School of Economics. 

Links relevant to the conversation

Beware a blind charge to net-zero emissions | The Spectator Australia

Australia’s Obscene Green Subsidy Machine – Quadrant Online

The Business Council of Australia’s green schizophrenia | The Spectator Australia

Bruce Mountain article The verdict is in: renewables reduce energy prices (yes, even in South Australia)

Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET)

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

Thanks to the show’s audio engineer Josh Crotts for his assistance in producing the episode. Check out his 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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Economics Explored Live

Aussie reopening, Kiwi inflation, oil and petrol prices, and Bitcoin news – livestream from 22 October 2021

Economics Explored host Gene Tunny’s latest Friday livestream for 22 October 2021 covered:

  • accelerating NZ inflation and the implications for interest rates of accelerating inflation in advanced economies more broadly;
  • the great Australian reopening and booming job vacancies (i.e. as noted by the National Skills Commission “Nationally job advertisements are up by 36.2% (or 60,800 job advertisements) compared to levels observed prior to the pandemic”); and
  • the extraordinary Bitcoin narrative which is being reinforced by the introduction of Bitcoin-exposed Exchange Traded Funds.

You can download Michael Knox’s excellent note on the oil price which was mentioned in the livestream here:

Biden’s oil and gas lease pause

Also, check out this great note (also quoted in the livestream and which was likely written by Pete Wargent) in the BuyersBuyers newsletter from yesterday:

Yields creeping higher

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

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.