National | World | Economic History | Pop Eco | Interactive Articles

Caffeine, Consciousness, and Capitalism

Every day, 90% of the world’s population enjoys a caffeinated beverage. In this interdisciplinary piece, Josh draws on insights from history, cognitive science, and sometimes economics, as he sets out to answer the following question: has the rise of caffeine been a positive development for our species?

Why we ought to rethink debt

What is debt? David explores debt through a moral and economical lens and its implications on our future society. With discussions about happiness and the innate structural deficiencies in hegemony, David guides us through ‘why we ought to rethink debt.’

The ‘Creative Destruction’ of Capitalism

Joseph Schumpeter reluctantly offers a stark account of the future of capitalism. Alarmingly, Schumpeter’s thesis is looking increasingly accurate.

This article first appeared in Short Supply 2016 – check out the full magazine via the Short Supply tab at the top of this page!

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good

‘The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.’—Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987)

Read more

City upon a Hill

The year was 1630. A fleet of ships carrying about 900 Puritans from England sailed across the Atlantic.[1] In every sense, it was a journey away from the Old World to the New. Aboard the flagship, the Arbella, leading Puritan John Winthrop delivered a lay

Read more

The Great Deformation

David Stockman’s ‘The Great Deformation’: doomsday ramblings or insightful criticism of modern financial systems? Hungy reads to find out.

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job …

Most people who are reading this article are university students. Many of you have the intention of graduating in economics and commerce, and then planning to go on to secure a fulfilling career. I dare say that the students associated with ESSA are perhaps the more diligent amongst students; ambitious and destined for big things!

We’ve got our eyes set on the RBA, Treasury, investment banks and government. Working for these sorts of institutions is a dream come true for wannabe economists. And wouldn’t we all love to be interviewed on Lateline, Inside Business, or Bloomberg, and have our own words rattle world financial markets?

Pretty idealistic, huh. Not that I think we aren’t capable of reaching such heights. But what beyond all this? What’s more to life?

Read more

Can we have our cake and eat it too? Part 2

In looking at the compatibility between Capitalism and action of climate change, a look at Australia’s own predicament provides a good example of the sort of bear pit that is typical of such a difficult policy dilemma. With the election campaign rambling along, a brief reminder of the major parties’ climate policies is in order.

Read more

Can we have our cake and eat it too? Part 1

If one is to believe anything Kevin Rudd says, it is his proclamation that climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time. Not only is it a moral challenge, it is also panning out to be the biggest ideological challenge of our time.

Read more

Budget Cutting the ABC is Crony Capitalism

May’s edition of Quadrant Magazine gave Tom Switzer space to argue ‘Why the ABC Should Be Privatised.’ Tom Switzer is a fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, a free market think-tank that gave birth to the Liberal Party of Australia in the 1940s.

Assuming Tony Abbott and his Coalition win the 2013 election, Switzer argues “budget cuts will most certainly be on the legislative agenda if only to save tax dollars. But privatisation—or at least rationalisation—of the public broadcaster remains a sound policy option.”

Read more

Standing in the Way

Sourced from Uncommon fritillary (Own work)

By Brendan Law, ESSA Vice-President 2012

The essence behind Free-Market ‘capitalism’ is the idea that the provision of incentives, say, a profit-motive, or some significant tangible benefit, create a response within a particular market that allows it to organise itself, and for goods to be produced in the most efficient way, in the desired quantities and prices.

Read more