Monday, November 8, 2010, 11:10 AM
"Straight Talk" features thinking from notable minds the PeakProsperity.com audience has indicated it wants to learn more about. Readers submit the questions they want addressed and our guests take their best crack at answering.
This week's Straight Talk contributor is Steve Keen, Associate Professor of Economics & Finance at the University of Western Sydney and author of the popular book Debunking Economics and the website Steve Keen's Debtwatch. Steve's research focuses on the dynamics of debt and leads him to believe that debt-deflation is the key issue that will continue to dictate what happens in the global economy.
1. Much of your research is complex. Can you summarize some of the more important conclusions of your work in ‘layman's’ terms for us?
Steve: Sure. My work is complex in part because I reject conventional economic analysis, which has infected how ordinary people think about the world—just as the Ptolemaic view of astronomy infected people’s minds prior to the Copernican revolution. So to explain my work I have to start with where I differ from conventional “neoclassical” economists, who now are rather like Ptolemaic astronomers—who tried to understand what they see in the sky by inventing more and more “spheres” on which heavenly bodies were supposed to rotate, rather than accepting Copernicus’ far simpler model of a solar system centered on the Sun.
The key ways are that I see the economy as being credit-driven, and out of equilibrium all the time. The economy needs an expanding supply of money to grow, and in our credit-driven economy, most of that expansion is driven by rising debt. » Read more