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Education, Welfare and Economics: A Human Capabilities View

In terms of welfare, the human capabilities approach was developed as a means of measuring the opportunities open to an individual and through that, the welfare of a society. Two of the major authors in the capabilities approach are Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum. Popular metrics which gets conflated with the status of a nation’s welfare is that of Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Read more

Economics: Special Exam

In an attempt to make a holistic project model, I have been talking with as many economic minds as possible – alongside educationalists, sociologists and artists; as well as people from different communities.  The plan is to try and underpin local economic regeneration so that there are tangible benefits which come of the activities.  Hence starting the odyssey of learning economics so this is approached in a level headed and pragmatic way.  There is too much speculation in this area, so surprise surprise, I turn to the answer found through education…

To start the ball rolling, a local teacher of economics, Donald Rutherford, has set me a special exam.  These are complex matters which would not do well to have clumsy projections made on them.  In the spirit of valuing knowledge he has said that he would write me a letter saying that I had managed to rise to the challenge should I provide sufficient answers. Read more

Understanding How to Support a Local Economy

These notes are summarised from the Key Findings of the Economic Scrutiny Committee Short Scrutiny Study – Economic Regeneration; Welsh Case Study: 1994 – 2003

Neighbourhood decline refers to the process by which areas become disadvantaged and includes environmental, social and economic factors. Neighbourhood renewal aims to reverse this process, improve the quality of life and attract people back into declining areas.

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11th Oct 2012: Why did the financial crisis happen? (and what to do about it) by Ben Stollery and Fran Boait

positive money

On the 11th of October Ben and Fran will be giving a talk at the Counting House in Edinburgh on the following subject…

Name of speaker and subject:

Ben Stollery and Fran Boait

We are in a crisis because so few of us, including policy makers, economists and journalists fully understand how our monetary system works. This is a dangerous situation to be in when money drives almost all activity on the planet. If you want to understand how the system works well, at least the basics – come along!

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A Crash Course in Social Capital

So, what is social capital? Jeremy Shearmur describes social capital as loosely as situations where people choose to voluntarily associate with each other and where membership in that group serves as a free resource to those members. Why is it important ? I feel that social capital is important because it helps to express aspects of community and belonging. I suppose that it is because we are social creatures and I suggest we are social creatures because of the greater benefits of being part of a community than of being solitary.

Social capital is a phrase being explored and studied across the world. Vivid importance has been attached to there being social capital in culture and it has been suggested that it is vital for stable growth economies, happy communities, healthy communities, efficient administrations, and effective learning environments. Read more

Is Economics a Dismal Science?

A famous quote is that of Thomas Carlyle stating economics as the dismal science. Thomas Carlyle complained that society had become mechanical and lost much of its humanity because of the abstraction of ‘real things’ into monetary terms.

In fact, there appears much gloom around the fabled world of money and exchange, and as someone who is outside of this field of study I wrestle with just what it all means and what is the practical nature of economics (also known as political economy).

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