author: David James

  • ECONOMICS

    The big, bad business of America's war industry

    • David James
    • 20 April 2018
    6 Comments

    As the West flirts with starting World War III in Syria, it is worth examining some of the financial and business dynamics behind the US 'military industrial complex'. War may not be good business, but it is big business. And in contrast to Russia and China, the industry in the US is heavily privatised, including the use of mercenaries.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Dispelling lazy thinking on trade deals

    • David James
    • 20 March 2018
    6 Comments

    The recent furore about Donald Trump's imposing of tariffs on steel, from which Australian companies have been exempted, raises an interesting question about the economics discipline. Which is better, an oxymoron or a tautology?

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  • ECONOMICS

    Don't let business mindset stifle the arts

    • David James
    • 20 February 2018
    2 Comments

    The practice of appointing business people to oversee arts bodies is as questionable as referring to the arts as an 'industry'. Business and the arts work on almost diametrically opposed rationales. Understanding this might go a long way towards assessing the art world more intelligently.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Welcome to the Matrix of materialism

    • David James
    • 27 January 2018
    7 Comments

    A visitor from an earlier time would be stunned to see how much we understand the world using monetary measures. Finance has come to be considered the first reality, not defined by, or reflecting, reality. To see how this creates distortions, consider GDP, which is taken to be a reliable measure of national wellbeing, but in fact is anything but.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Economic doom looms in Oz's game of homes

    • David James
    • 12 December 2017
    1 Comment

    It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where the game of musical chairs in Australia will come to a shuddering end, imperilling the banks and dragging the economy into a deep recession. As we saw in the GFC in America and Europe, government money will be thrown at the banks to rescue them at the expense of ordinary citizens.

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  • ECONOMICS

    In the end, debts cannot be paid

    • David James
    • 08 November 2017
    3 Comments

    Once upon a time, usury was considered a sin and lending was subject to strict controls. Now, the world is in the grip of usury. It cannot continue. At some point it will have to be retired, or swapped to equity. A good place to start is third world debt, which is the most immoral variant.

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  • MEDIA

    There is no such thing as capitalism

    • David James
    • 27 October 2017
    13 Comments

    In literary studies, one of the most important requirements is the need to define one's terms accurately. It has always come as a shock to me that economics is almost completely devoid of such precision. Much of the terminology of the 'discipline' of economics is either nonsense, or thinly disguised tautologies.

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  • MEDIA

    Is Google and Facebook's imitation game doomed?

    • David James
    • 26 September 2017
    3 Comments

    There are very few examples of companies that have been able to genuinely change when confronted with new circumstances. It looks increasingly that Facebook and Google are approaching this situation. The challenge is likely to come from some quarter that is new and surprising, just as the demolition of conventional media came from companies that could have barely been imagined 20 years ago.

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  • MEDIA

    How political correctness kills language freedoms

    • David James
    • 25 August 2017
    21 Comments

    The push for politically correct language may be well intentioned enough, but its consequences are often appalling. It can rob us of one of the most important of all human freedoms: the right to use words to mean what we want them to mean.

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  • ECONOMICS

    World trade is now America versus China (and Russia)

    • David James
    • 23 August 2017
    4 Comments

    The anti-Russian frenzy in the United States amounts to little more than a great deal of evidence that the intelligence community suspects there might be a great deal of evidence that the Russians have been meddling. It has to rank as one of the biggest, and most orchestrated, blind alleys of modern media coverage. When a journalist says an anonymous ‘respected source’ thinks the Russians are up to something, this writer is always left wondering: respected by whom? His dog?

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  • ECONOMICS

    Where is money headed?

    • David James
    • 30 July 2017
    2 Comments

    The daily fluctuations of financial markets and the fractious debates over economic policy are concealing something deeper and much more disturbing. The future of money itself is in question. A decade after world banking almost collapsed in the global financial crisis, the questions raised have not been answered.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Bitcoin revolution is a matter of trust

    • David James
    • 30 June 2017
    2 Comments

    One of the more interesting recent developments in finance has been the creation of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. They are being touted as a revolution in how we think and use money. Alternately, there are many who want to go in the opposite direction, back to the gold standard. Both sides have a common enemy: money whose value is determined by government dictate. Allowing governments to dictate in this way, they argue, is the core of the problem. To a significant extent, they are wrong.

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