Peter Costello launches Steve Kates’ Free Market Economics

I have just come from the launch of the second edition of Steve Kates’ Free Market Economics: An Introduction for the General Reader.

I’m sure none of you have ever heard of this book before – as Steve never talks about it. 🙂

More seriously, the book was highly recommended by Peter Costello who gave it a glowing reference and even threw in some jokes about Say’s Law. Peter spoke well, as always, outlining his view of the global financial crisis and the stimulus spending that “saved” Australia.

He also raised an important issue that hadn’t occurred to me before: Why hasn’t the Abbott government asked the Treasury to revisit its forecasts and advice and modelling over the 2008-09 period in particular and then subsequent years to show that the Keynesian stimulus was completely wasted? The answer, I suspect, is that the Abbott government simply doesn’t have enough mongrel in it for that sort of thing.

Anyway, even as I type Steve is out to dinner with the great man and no doubt will post on the matter later.

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37 Responses to Peter Costello launches Steve Kates’ Free Market Economics

  1. C.L.

    This is fantastic news.

    And a launch by Costello?

    Very cool.

  2. JC

    Great news but a little redundant. The Cats gave it thumbs up ages ago which counts for more 🙂

  3. Gab

    Kudos indeed. Well done, Dr Kates, on the book as well!

  4. Sinclair Davidson

    Getting Peter Costello was a huge coup for Steve.

  5. C.L.

    You know your book launcher is good when TV and radio star Sinclair sits it out in the audience. 🙂

  6. JC

    I actually read the book. It’s fabulous. It really explains in a superior way how consumption can only only occur with production. That’s clear to me.

    However the only small issue I have is that Steve doesn’t want to admit there can be a demand shortfall caused by inappropriate monetary policy. That’s not Steve’s singular fault. Most of us on the Right have this problem.

  7. JC

    Except me of course 🙂

  8. David

    the Abbott government simply doesn’t have enough mongrel in it

    Aint that the truth Doom Lord. My grand daughter’s little fluffy rabbit has more gumption than the LNP. Every time they are presented with a chance to gut the Opposition they fold.

    I often wonder what happened to the people we elected to straighten out the mess Rudd/Gillard/Rudd and Swan left.

    I struggle to see what else other than stopping the boats they have achieved.

  9. C.L.

    The Liberals have lacked first-rate firepower since Costello bowed out.

    I was pretty angry with him at the time.

    Now I tend to think JoHo should have bowed out.

    His historical eyes got too big for his stomach.

  10. Johno

    the Abbott government simply doesn’t have enough mongrel in it

    I wonder how long it will be before people start referring to the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Abbott government. It’s been a continuum rather than the radical change in direction that is required.

  11. .

    Not me JC. A free market would not under allocate by definition.

  12. Andrew

    Now I tend to think JoHo should have bowed out.

    His historical eyes got too big for his stomach.

    Its a shame that Peter simply threw the towel in once he got to opposition. He would be PM now. Shouldn’t have expected that the leadership would be handed to him.

  13. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Now I tend to think JoHo should have bowed out.

    Always believed he wanted to pip Bob Hawke for the position of second longest serving Prime Minister.

  14. David

    Its a shame that Peter simply threw the towel in once he got to opposition

    Tossing in the towel when things don’t go exactly as you want is not a good indication of a leader.

  15. close

    Not me JC. A free market would not under allocate by definition.

    Liquidity as transmission mechanism is perhaps a boundary condition caveat? Obviously we are nowhere near that boundary.

  16. H B Bear

    Always believed he wanted to pip Bob Hawke for the position of second longest serving Prime Minister.

    Combination of Hyacinth Bucket and hubris. Once the party told him he had to go he didn’t want to look like he had folded. We’ll never know whether Costello with 12 months as PM could have held off KRudd.

  17. .

    Inflation went up in 2009. We accommodated too much in Australia.

  18. Rob MW

    Well done Steve.

    “The answer, I suspect, is that the Abbott government simply doesn’t have enough mongrel in it for that sort of thing.” – No Sinc that’s not it at all. Given any sort of motivation, politicians of all persuasions just love spending other people’s money, the bigger the amount the better.

    What does stain their collective pants, although, is the people finding out about their hypocrisy and exaggerated illogical arguments that attempt to justify the waste of billions. If Abbott was in power during those years there is little doubt that he would have spent a ridiculous amount of other people’s money on something just as wasteful as pink-bats and elevated shade-cloth over play grounds. It’s in their genes 🙂

  19. wreckage

    No, there are degrees of waste. The R_G_R pretty much set the new upper limit for utterly pointless buggering of an entire economy.

  20. wreckage

    Huge coup for Kates. Nobody can touch Costello as far as economic cred goes; his endorsement is a huge boost. Hell, it’s kicked the book from “read eventually” to “read as soon as I can afford the bastard” in my priorities.

  21. Rob MW

    No Yes, there are degrees of waste.”

  22. jason

    Where can I buy it, seems its always linking to a UK book site.

    Surely I can get it somewhere in this wide brown land?

  23. wreckage

    Is that a grammar correction?

    Because otherwise: it doesn’t change the meaning, which you, by restating it “corrected”, appear to now endorse.

  24. JC

    Its a shame that Peter simply threw the towel in once he got to opposition. He would be PM now. Shouldn’t have expected that the leadership would be handed to him.

    He didn’t throw in the towel. When Turnbull became opposition leader it meant he also didn’t want any opposition on his side of the fence and did his best to freeze Costello out of everything. he did the right thing and bowed out. In other words he was a 100% gentleman.

  25. Dan

    Maybe Costello thought he was the only dry in a party of wets.

  26. rich

    Liquidity as transmission mechanism is perhaps a boundary condition caveat? Obviously we are nowhere near that boundary.

    If monetary policy is inappropriate enough, people will trade using something other than local fiat money. Like USD? It may cause a demand drop by decimating the savings of citizens. Yet the free market is robust enough to find other means of trade; just like the black market springs up when govt tries to cap prices.

  27. john constantine

    Go for growth [of maaates through crony socialism] shortfilth is free to spruik all the lies he wants untul ‘factchecked’.

    The terrifying possibility that the lunar right wing aspergers billy will be replaced by the ‘obama that doesn’t golf’ stalinism of their abc’s plibby–is that a strategic reason to run soft on labor now?.

  28. john constantine

    In victoria we see the soprano government claiming a surplus to squander on crony socialism, underpinned by the one and a half billion taken from the abbott government for the road the tammany trades hall refuse to build.

    Does the Great Abbottbeast have the mongrel to not roll over and take this?.

    Or do chaps not do that sort of thing to other chaps over a measly one and a half billion dollars that will go straight to the most corrupt of thugs— in the state that has genocided the careers of public servants that supported the tories?.

  29. Patrick Kelly

    Does this mean that the book will be now available in local bookstores?

  30. Sinclair Davidson

    To the best of my knowledge the book is available at the RMIT bookshop – but I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

  31. outsider

    The FF did pretty well with him. It’s hard to retrace ‘what ifs’ so PC is just a chance Australia lost in those dumb media driven days of Rudd worship. He would utterly destroy the current ALP, and his wit is now far more mature and understated. He makes TA look like the bozo career politician he in fact is.

  32. Andrew

    He didn’t throw in the towel. When Turnbull became opposition leader it meant he also didn’t want any opposition on his side of the fence and did his best to freeze Costello out of everything. he did the right thing and bowed out. In other words he was a 100% gentleman.

    He did throw the towel in because the party would have overwhelmingly supported Costello and he absolutely hated Turnbull for years. He didn’t take the opportunity to be the leader because he was still moping about not having the role of PM handed to him.

  33. Rabz

    Ah – I vowed never to read another economic text after finishing my degree, so disillusioned was I with the Keynesian claptrap we were force fed at university.

    May have to finally reconsider after all these years. HB Bear might be vindicated yet.

  34. Rob MW

    “Is that a grammar correction?”

    Sorry wreckage, no it was not a ‘grammar correction’. It was, subject to being ‘ because otherwise’ an oxymoron correction. You apparently do not agree that there waste on all sides of politics but then, in the same sentence, you apparently agree that there are ‘degrees of waste’ apparently, or because otherwise, on all side of politics.

  35. Helen

    Sold out at RMIT (5% off, too)

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