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Archive for December, 2013

Happy days! NEW Westwell site live today 0

Posted on December 18, 2013 by Liz Rowell
New Red Ark site for Westwell

New Red Ark site for Westwell

Pure Christmas catnip 0

Posted on December 13, 2013 by Liz Rowell

Persuasion is now 30 per cent of US GDP 0

Posted on December 03, 2013 by Liz Rowell

From smh.com.au interview with Deirdre McCloskey

For McCloskey, a free society is a ”rhetorical society” where speech is used to persuade people about what to buy or whom to voter for, rather than violence.

She says advertising has been unfairly given a bad name.

”People always say advertising is manipulation,” says McCloskey. ”But if the only alternative to persuasion is violence how else are we going to decide what car to buy except by people trying to charm us?”

In 1995 McCloskey co-authored an influential study which estimated persuasion – by salespeople, teachers, politicians, lobbyists, lawyers and others – made up a quarter of America’s gross domestic product. The same analysis was updated earlier this year by an economist at the Australian Treasury and it showed persuasion is now 30 per cent of US GDP. McCloskey says the proportion is similar in Australia.

”The making of things is going to become a smaller and smaller part of the economy,” she says as we order a second coffee. ”But persuasion is going to get bigger and bigger.”

McCloskey is critical of economists for not paying more attention to language and says economics would be much improved if economists read more novels.

One of McCloskey’s less heralded contributions was to be an early advocate for feminist economics, now a thriving realm of academic inquiry.

”Feminist economics is an important broadening of economics like behavioural economics and experimental economics,” she says.

”I was a feminist before I became a woman. I did it out of noblesse oblige – I was a man reaching down to help the poor dears. It really helps to be one.”

McCloskey has studied the origins of modern economies at great depth and is very optimistic about the future of the global economy. The economic history of the past 200 years shows that setbacks such as the global financial crisis are temporary.

Over the long term the figures are impressive – McCloskey estimates that in today’s dollars the average daily income of an Australian has grown from about $3 a day in the early 1800s to $120 a day now.

”Everybody in the world is getting richer,” she says. ”Income per head in the world is growing faster right now than it ever has in history. I expect the whole world will become developed in 50 or 100 years.”


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/economist-deirdre-mccloskey-playing-both-sides-of-the-street-20131129-2ygwu.html#ixzz2mO6ceK6O


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