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Sleep and reading – Australia bound

Today’s blog post is about sleep and reading. I am travelling from London to Sydney today via Hong Kong so I will not write anything more than a few lines. I will be back in writing mode on Tuesday I should think. For the next 24 hours I have a lot of reading to do. I also provide some advice for those who pack running shoes when travelling.

It has been a really busy, if not torrid speaking tour this time around – lots of in and out of my least favourite airport London Heathrow and a lot of talk.

I now get a more measured period of writing.

Thomas Fazi and I met in Germany over the weekend just gone and are now fully working on our followup book to – Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, September 2017).

I will provide a rough guide to what we are up to soon – I might have said ‘when we know’ – but it is more accurate to say when the approach is more fully articulated.

I think it will be a little of a surprise and as a clue we are going to provide a comprehensive critique of ‘Western’ concepts of democracy and economy to allow us to break out of the usual frames that bind, even our thinking.

It might not work but it will be fun finding out.

More on that later.

Over the next 24 hours or so, if you are worried about comments that are held in the moderation queue it is because I am some kms in the sky and refuse to pay the ridiculous fees that airlines demand for wi-fi connection.

For those who pack running shoes when travelling …

More important than learning or writing about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is finding good running routes when travelling.

Here are some of the routes I have been traversing over the last few weeks in New York City and then in Europe.

NYC – Hudson River Park

I was staying in Jane Street, adjacient to the Hudson River. The choice of Hotel was deliberate because I had only one crossing before I was on the fabulous running track along the river.

You can go south for further than I run – I went around 5 kms down and 5kms back. There are various piers that you can run out and around if you like.

Surface is excellent (paving mostly).

There are a lot of runners but it is not crowded.

Highly recommended.

The route in the map is not my turnaround point on the days I ran it – I just couldn’t fit it all on the screen and make it meaningful.

On another day, I ran north along the River Park and the route is less preferred to going south.

An attraction on the Chelsea Pier is you run out and around a golf driving range and there were stacks of golfers trying to groove their swings early in the morning.

I turned around at the 4 kms mark on that day.

Dublin, Ireland

I was staying at the Wynns Hotel in Abbey Street, just off the famous O’Connell Street.

This run takes you over the river, past Trinity College, up Grafton Street to the corner of St Stephen’s Green (1 km exactly).

Then I did 8 laps of St. Stephen’s Green – each on nearly exactly 1 km around.

Then back to the city.

Perfect symmetry really – 1km, loops of 1 km, then 1 km.

St Stephen’s Green is beautiful and in the early morning the wind was blowing the Autumn leaves into my face, which was nice.

Surface excellent.

Hassle: getting out to the Green – lots of intersections. Grafton Street though is closed to traffic.

Out the back of Galway, Ireland

This was a fabulous run. I was staying in a rural house with friends (near Aphouleen) and this run wound down little farm tracks (surface okay) to one of the bays, along through Ballymanagh, and out to Knockayncarragh near the sea.

Then I came back.

Early morning – cool, atmospheric and any of the routes around this area are great.

London – Russell Square

On several days while I was in London I ran my Russell Square route.

I prefer to stay up around the Brunswick Centre and I can get to the Square quickly. Then I do about 20 laps – sometimes 18. It is not as good as going out to Regent’s Park but it avoids all the traffic.

Each lap is just over 540 metres. You might get dizzy if you run fast! Surface is excellent and while the thought of running continuous laps might deter you, the reality of no traffic and nice trees should attract.

I have spent many an early morning making myself dizzy at the Square.

Lisbon – Portugal

I ran two routes in Lisbon. I was staying down in the Baixa district, chosen to be close to the water edge and easy to get to running routes.

The first route goes out to the historic port of Belém on the Tagus River. This is where Vasco de Gama set off in 1497 and was the first to find the sea route to India.

The run takes you down to the main square (Praça do Comércio), turn right and run along the river path.

In the early morning it is not crowded but later it would be unbearable.

The surface is small paving stones and not great for feet (constantly adjusting).

There are some beautiful sights and some really seedy parts – ephemeral population, some ‘dealers’ and homeless.

Belém is a nice place to run around.

The second route turned left at the Praça do Comércio and goes past the Cruise ship terminal and along the port area. After some kms you come to a major overpass and under the road there is a tent city of homeless people. A large population it seems.

The surface is better this way but the views are less attractive.

Lisbon, in general is not my favourite place to run. But the route to Belém is okay.

Würzburg, Germany

For the last two days of this speaking tour I have been in Würzburg, Germany. This run is exceptional. The city has a ring road and on the eastern side you can access the RingPark, which is a beautiful route through parkland (with occasional road crossing) with soft gravel surfaces.

It goes up and down gently and when you get down to the Main River, I turned left and ran along the quay for some distance (off the map shown) and turned around at the 5 kms mark and traced my route back.

There are lots of variations but this was my favourite run of this tour.

Virtually no-one around in the early morning and not much traffic to impede crossing roads without having to stop.

Travel Sounds

Here is some lovely music from one of my favourite post-minimalist composers Max Richter.

It is off the re-released album (May 2018)- The Blue Notebooks – which was originally released on February 26, 2004 on Fat Cat Records.

It was originally recorded as a protest by Max Richter to the Iraq invasion in 2003.

This track On the Nature of Daylight was re-recorded for the new release, with different musicians. The new album is called The Blue Notebooks – 15 Years Edition.

It still resonates after first hearing it in 2004.

So Bill, put your feet up boy, open a novel, and in about a day you will be back on the ground in warm, springtime Australia.

And with that I may resurface tomorrow.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2018 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. You might make yourself more dizzy with respect to being in London, I would like to inform you of an audience that John McDonnell had with Jenny Manson and others. I will link the interview here – the relevant bit is just after 55 minutes.
    Someone pointed out to JM that the banks were bailed out without borrowing or raising taxes. JM said that his advice was that he could create money when interest rates were at the lower bound. He cited his advice as from New Keynesian Simon Wren Lewis. I know this is incorrect as even I with my lack of economic qualifications and my busy life cannot read MMT as much as would like. I recognise that this helps the City because it forces people/businesses to go into private debt, which must be repaid, as Wynne Godley has said, endogenous money causes the private sector to go into deficit. So we have cyclic austerity, because government only helps when private debt starts causing debt deflation.

    The bit that disturbed me more however was that he said that he had spoken with “Bill Mitchell this morning,” and “he thinks our fiscal rule is fine but what happens when the clouds darken.” Now, as I said, I do not read this blog as much as I would like. I cannot pretend to always understand. But I know enough to believe that JM has either not understood or has misrepresented you. Feeling very depressed. Even Stephanie Kelton made it very clear in her lecture “Angry Birds,” we must balance the economy, not the books. I am really worried about JM if he continues to listen to SWL.

  2. Sandra, you’re a star. McDonnell has been told by a number of people that SWL is a dodgy advisor. But he goes ahead anyway. He either doesn’t listen or he lies. I have had him tell me that he gets MMT only to contradict this statement a day or two later. Neither he nor Corbyn get MMT, and I am not convinced they care.

  3. I have watched Sandra’s video clip and listened to McDonnell’s comments on how he would pay for his fiscal interventions. He still thinks he has to tax in order to underwrite fiscal policy. This is an unacceptable error. He wants to know of a different route. He has been told of one, MMT, and he seemingly hasn’t taken notice. I found him a little vague. When he says that he will resource things like housing, it isn’t clear whether this includes resourcing funding.

    He thinks a new Bretton Woods is needed, which is definitely not the case. It was a fixed exchange rate system, and a fiat currency system really doesn’t need this.

  4. Dear Sandra Crawford (at 2018/10/15 at 9:55 pm)

    I did meet with John in London last Thursday. I had considered the meeting private and I was not going to comment on it.

    However, since John has mentioned it in public I will provide some discussion of that meeting tomorrow (Wednesday). I did not say the fiscal rule is “fine”.

    best wishes

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