It was great fun speaking alongside ACOSS policy officer Emily Hamilton and radical economist Steve Keen at the Northside Forum in the heart of Joe Hockey’s electorate last Saturday. Close to 100 people packed into the function room at the Union Hotel to hear us speak and participate in a Q&A. Thanks to the organisers for inviting us — the audience was receptive, enthusiastic and argumentative.
Steve’s talk was on “Should Governments Run Surpluses?”, which he describes thus: “After recommending George Monbiot’s excellent article on grouse I used the Open Source program Minsky to model what can happen when a government runs a permanent surplus. The result is not what advocates of government surpluses expect.” Watch Steve’s talk (with graphics) on YouTube here.
Emily ran through the mooted attacks on welfare, pensions and social services flagged in the Commission of Audit report and those that seem likely to emerge in the Budget itself.
Finally, I took on the origins of public debt in the global crisis of capitalism, which has constrained state revenue, and the weakness of the political class in being able to run any hardline austerity agenda. My slideshow is here or as single images on the Northside Forum website here.
The organisers filmed the event and I will put up a link to that if it becomes available.