A new introduction: small steps towards a better world

599px-The_Blue_MarbleThis blog is about economic development in its broadest sense. Before you tune out and switch off, I should say that it is my strongly held belief that, despite being nicknamed ‘the dismal science’, the study and practice of economics can make a vital contribution to a more prosperous and sustainable world.

Economics tends to focus on material improvements to human living through growth, which involves a transformation of society, not always for the better. I do think that materialism is not an end in itself, but makes possible progress in other aspects of life.

I was inspired by the 2008 global financial crisis to start taking economics seriously again, as suddenly it seemed important to understand what was going on in the world. Only a few economists predicted the crisis, and they tend to be some of the ones I listen to.

I have always enjoyed writing and wanted to share my ideas with an audience; this motivates me to post regularly. I have been blogging since the start of the crisis, on and off.

I favour an approach to economics which draws on politics, history, philosophy, sociology, psychology and even biology and physics. As a result I find ‘heterodox’ or non-mainstream ideas more relevant to my understanding. Diagrams and equations very rarely feature in my writing, so don’t be put off.

Sometimes I write about the kind of economics that features in current affairs, other times the focus is more theoretical, but I try to relate all of it to pressing real world issues such as: growth, employment, distribution, sustainability and how government policies interact with trends in these factors. I recognise that capitalism can often produce undesirable outcomes in society, but favour interventions which improve on these rather than being some sort of revolutionary. Capitalism is revolutionary enough for me!

I hope that some of you will have a look at what I’m writing and find it useful and interesting. If you do, I will have accomplished my goals.

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