catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

The economist as radical

with 4 comments

After I became Finance Minister I was told to read Ian Castles’ Presidential Address to the Economics Section of the 1984 Anzus Conference ‘Economists and Anti-economists’. It is a significant piece of scholarship, a devastating rebuttal to the attacks on the great classical economists, Smith, Malthus, Ricardo and JS Mill, launched by Kenneth Clark and JK Galbraith in his later years. Clark and Galbraith had portrayed them as toadies and apologists for the dominant classes. Castles’ technique was to quote the Clarke/Galbraith simplifications and cheap one liners, followed by actual quotations from the economists, and more lethally, what the dominant classes were actually saying about the economists in their own time. They were of course regarded (correctly) as dangerous radicals who threatened privilege and the established order. It should be compulsory reading for today’s chattering classes who prattle on in ignorance about economic rationalism.

from p. 7 of Peter Walsh’s Confessions of a failed Finance Minister.

If you must buy an Australian political memoir, buy this instead of all the bilge put out by more recently failed politicians.


Written by Admin

November 17, 2006 at 4:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Walshie was a great Finance Minister and became great mates with John Stone.
    Both had a great capacity to drink.

    Walshie went too far on occasions like us all and so gained the expression to be drunk as a finance minister.

    Keating would not have been half the treasurer without Walsh.

    Costello needed a Walsh to be a decent Treasurer. He didn’t have one and subsequently didn’t become on.

    Walhie is truly one of the great characters of those Hawke years although Kerin was the funniest and on of the best as well.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 17, 2006 at 5:39 pm

  2. So you’re saying Walshie has been Stone-drunk Homer?

    Jason Soon

    November 17, 2006 at 6:25 pm

  3. Anyway, forget Homers homilies

    I’m glad that we have the Ian Castles to balance the fantasy world of the left but I am worried they are too few.


    November 17, 2006 at 6:53 pm

  4. Jase, no man or woman would want to be around when Walshie and Stone got drinking.

    He had a good staff and good bureaucrats around to assist him. A few Liberal ministers would do to imitate that.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 17, 2006 at 7:06 pm

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