By Stephen Koukoulas
This is where economics gets political. The two are inextricably interlinked. It is impossible to have an economic philosophy without a political underpinning. Economic decisions require trade offs; there are winners and losers. But in a rich, decent society like Australia, there should be compassion, a helping hand, a redistributive effect that only a government can provide.
Can economics deal with environmental issues? Of course it can. Price signals are the eighth wonder of the world. Price something higher – cigarettes and carbon – and demand for those products will fall and there will be clear benefits for all.
Good luck to the ESSA and well done for hosting this terrific event. I was flattered to be on the same panel as Max Corden and Neville Norman – two wonderfully bright and erudite speakers. Even if I didn’t agree with everything they said, I certainly had respect for their views. So too with the other panelists were bright and provocative. All up, a great event.