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PUBLIC LECTURE | Econobabble: How to Decode Political Spin and Economic Nonsense



Start Date

20 Sep 2016 6:00 pm

End Date

20 Sep 2016 7:30 pm

Institute for the Study of Social Change logo Anglica TAS' Social Action and Research Centre  logo

An Institute for the Study of Social Change and Anglica TAS' Social Action & Research Centre lecture

Presented by

Dr Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute

Econobabble book cover
Dr Richard Denniss

Economics is like a tyre lever: it can be used to solve a problem, or to beat someone over the head . . .

What is econobabble? We hear it every day, when public figures and commentators use incomprehensible economic jargon to dress up their self-interest as the national interest, to make the absurd seem inevitable or the inequitable seem fair. This book is designed to expose the stupid arguments, bizarre contradictions and complete lack of evidence upon which much ‘common sense’ about the economy rests in Australia. Econobabble is for those who, deep down, have never believed that it makes sense, economic or otherwise, to help poor people by slashing public spending on the services they need. It’s for those who have a sneaking suspicion that it would be cheaper to avoid the effects of climate change than to let them happen and then ‘adapt’. And it’s for those who think it would be more efficient to reduce unemployment than to ship jobs offshore or blame those who are out of work. With humour and precision, Richard Denniss demolishes the tired and misleading arguments of right-wing economic ‘experts’, empowering you to cut through the babble and reach the truth.

An economist by training, Dr Richard Denniss has worked for the past 20 years in a variety of policy and political roles. In recent years he has been at the forefront of the national policy debates surrounding climate change policy and the Australian mining boom. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University. Prior to working at the Australia Institute, Richard was the Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, was Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, and held teaching and research jobs at Australian universities. He is known for his ability to translate economics issues into everyday language. Richard has published extensively in academic journals, has a fortnightly column in The Canberra Times and Australian Financial Review and was the co-author of Minority Policy: Rethinking governance when parliament matters (with Dr Brenton Prosser), the best-selling Affluenza (with Dr Clive Hamilton) and An Introduction to Australian Public Policy: Theory and Practice (with Dr Sarah Maddison). His most recent book Econobabble was released in February 2016.

Tuesday 20 September 2016, 6.00pm to 7.30pm (refreshments from 5.30pm)

Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay Campus

Copies of Richard's book will be available for sale in the foyer of the Stanley Burbury Theatre, thanks to Co-op Bookshop.

For more information and to RSVP email Dr Louise Grimmer


Institute for Social Change
University of Tasmania
Private Bag 44


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