Esa Saarinen on “The Radicalism of Phelpsian Good Economy”

Dear Friends,

Esa Saarinen is one of the most original and creative Minds I have encountered. He is a philosopher. I would call him philosopher for “ordinary people”. I intend on my blog to present the people who have most influenced my thought. It will be a rather long list, and I haven’t started yet. Esa is the first, on top, of my list.

Why am I introducing him here, in a section devoted to books and articles? Because I want to share with you one of his articles.

I have an intend: A few days ago, I was invited to participate in a starting LinkedIn Group called “What Will Tomorrows World Look Like”.  I accepted and posted a first welcome comment. It reads:

“Thank You for asking me to join. The question that brings us together is not answerable. Therefore I expect a lot of constructive dialogue, even if this means exchanging “uncomfortable knowledge”

And I added a link to this comment: The 9th STAVROS S. NIARCHOS LECTURE  given by Niall Ferguson at the Petersen Institute for International Economics in May 2010, under the title : Fiscal Crises and Imperial Collapses: Historical Perspective on Current Predicaments. Here’s the link

I added this link, since I thought Niall’s lecture provided an interesting angle for the question my new Group was concentrating on: “What Will Tomorrows World Look Like”. An interesting angle, although perhaps an uncomfortable one. I have not received any comments yet on my post.

Back to where I want to go, “Phelpsian Good Economy”. I wanted also to highlight a more “comfortable” angle, even if unconventional.

Phelps is I think, as is Niall Ferguson, a perfectly respectable man. He is Nobel Laureate for economics.

The originality of Esa’s writing, in this working paper, written for the Center on Capitalism and Society of Columbia University, is to make ideas accessible to “non academic” minds. It is important, I believe, to diffuse worthwhile, unconventional ideas, to a large audience. So I am spreading.

Why are these ideas worthwhile? Let’s find the answer in some passages of Esa’s article:

  • “…Phelps’ views are particularly explosive…”
  • “They should not be confined to an intra-economics debate only. On the contrary, one key aspect of Phelps’ approach is in the fruitful dialogue it promotes on the subject of economic life in general”
  • “Phelps’ proposals are of tremendous potential significance both theoretically as well as in pragmatic terms”

This paper is available following the link:

So if you are interested in “What Tomorrow’s World Will Look Like”, read this paper. And maybe also listen to Niall Ferguson. You will not get an answer to the question above. There can be no answer. It may bring you insights, hope, and will to get involved in inventing our future.

Only a collective process will lead us to invent our future, lead us to betterment; avoid things getting worse.

What can we do for betterment to happen?

I still and strongly believe we can be thinking and acting together. The Gandian: “Being” in our actions and thinking “the Future we want to see” (perhaps also to avoid the “Future we do not want to see”).

“I am convinced betterment for our and all the children, and all the living beings, for many, many generations to come, will occur if only each and any of us would start transforming himself, to rely less on lessons of the past, to learn anew, for and from the future”.




About charlesvanderhaegen

I am a grandfather of an immensely inspiring family, thanks to the most incredible wife. To satisfy my family's needs, I was for 30 years business entrepreneur, roller coasting between success and failure. 17 years ago I was forced to stop and reflect. I dug into theory and discovered the World out there, that my involvement in Business had kept hidden to me. I feared that I will not escape remaining amidst my trans-disciplinary quest forever, bouncing back and forth from action to theory, always puzzled by Europe's apparent incapacity to free itself from its Institutional/Technological Lock-ins. My horizon opened up when Gunter Pauly, my intimate friend of 35 years, asked me to join him and take charge ZERI's development in Europe. I am now fully engaged alongside Gunter Pauli in the and the @myblueeconomy Networks as CEO of ZERI.EU vzw (Non for Profit association)
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One Response to Esa Saarinen on “The Radicalism of Phelpsian Good Economy”

  1. Pingback: Macro-economics: Orthodoxy and Blindness. When Science Becomes Fundamentalism | Charles van der Haegen's Blog

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