Articles by Carl Schelling

The case for pill testing

Over the New Year’s period two party goers have fatally overdosed at music festivals around the country, renewing the debate about pill testing which has become a contentious issue in New South Wales.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has taken a firm stance against pill testing in the wake of the two fatal overdoses and over 700 requiring drug related medical treatment at Defqon1 late last year.

Berejiklian has since softened her stance on pill testing after the deaths over New Year’s and is now open to considering the possibility of pill testing at future music festivals in the state. It is still unclear, however, if public money will be used to supply pill testing services or venue operators will be permitted to operate their own pill testing services privately, or with cooperation from outside institutions.

The current response to drugs in music festivals in both New South Wales … Read the rest


Jobs Guarantee: a guaranteed failure?

US economist Stephanie Kelton, a former adviser to Bernie Sanders, has just embarked on a tour of Australia. Kelton is promoting her vision  of government funded jobs to deal with unemployment and underemployment in Australia: a government Job Guarantee. While the idea sounds nice, a government guarantee is nothing but a guaranteed failure.

The economic rationale for this proposal is the idea known as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which  began gaining popularity in the early 90s, evolving from existing theories developed by economist Georg Friedrich Knapp in the early 20th century. The theory proposes that taxation does not fund government spending and is merely a policy tool to control inflation and unemployment. The same thinking applies to government spending being a policy tool. Further, MMT proposes that when a sovereign nation establishes its currency as fiat money and is the sole supplier, the government commands an unlimited ability to Read the rest