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10/07/2012

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Markmcguire

Hi Martin and others

As you say, "this shift from Government debt to private debt doesn't hold up to scrutiny". That seems to apply across the board. Reports from so many countries confirm the pattern. Recent news out of Spain, for example, is terrible. Shifting the debt burden from the public (collective) to the private (individual) is bad enough. Shifting the debt from the financial sector to the public sector (and then on to individuals) is even worse. Reducing the spending power and confidence of the very consumers who are expected to keep the machine rolling along does little more than buy some time. As we keep hearing, the fundamentals are not good. Universities should be the place where these issues are most constructively, productively and openly debated. However, when your own house is on fire, it is difficult to focus on global warming.

Things are not (yet) quite as bad in New Zealand, where I teach. Our second of two semesters for the year started this week. I signed in a student from the UK who moved to NZ after completing two years of study there but can no longer afford the tuition. Fortunately, he has NZ residency and can pay domestic, rather than international, fees. It must be pretty bad if students are leaving the country to study elsewhere - even as far away as New Zealand!

While I'm here, I'd like to thank you for your contribution to the #change11 course. I didn't catch all of the synchronous sessions, but I did attend yours. I purchased a copy of "The Digital Scholar" (for my Kindle). I've dipped in but haven't read it properly yet, but I will. I'm interested in the increasing practice of offering books online as free HTML files or PDF downloads as well as selling physical and digital "book" versions. In the digital environment, the content seems to be separating from the form(at) of the experience. People expect the former to be free, but they are happy to pay for the added value of the latter.

All the best,

Mark McGuire
Blog: http://markmcguire.net/
Twitter: mark_mcguire

mweller

Hi Mark, yes absolutely that transfer of debt doesn't decrease the overall debt, it just makes its impact more damaging, but there is a rhetoric of austerity that has taken hold now. Perhaps we'll all come to NZ.
Thanks for the comments on the book - yes, as an author I was never going to be rich from it, so i may as well give it away online and hopefully get a wider readership. Not that I'd object if it did make me rich of course.

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