Abstracts
ISSN 2047-8747 (Print) ISSN 2047-8755 (Online) Volume 6 Issue 4 (2017)
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Essays on The Nature and State of Modern Economics: A Review Article - K. Vela Velupillai
- Volume 5 Issue 1

NASOME is a collection of essays, almost all of them (except the first chapter) previously published, with a clearly articulated theme, and a thoroughly competent critique of a variety of current orthodoxies - even, paradoxically, the orthodoxy of heterodoxy (especially, but not only, in chapter 3 of NASOME ) - ranging from the ubiquity of the mathematising enterprise of modern (sic!) economic theory, (chapters 2, 7, 8 & 11, but pervading the whole of this elegant book), an extremely original interpretation of the ‘current crisis’ (say from the early years of this century to almost the foreseeable (sic!) future), and possible remedies (chapters 5 & 6), Soros and his poorly defined notion of reflexivity as a basis for his critiques of particular aspects of the mathematical underpinnings of currently dominant financial and macroeconomic exercises, and the institution founded by him (INET), to promote an alternative to so-called orthodox MMM (chapter 9), and an enlightened interpretation of some of Thorstein Veblen’s classics of the very late 19th and the early 20th century, to reinterpret and debunk all current notions of neoclassical (chapters 4 and 11).

 
An Economic Assessment of Bioethanol Production from Sugar Cane: The Case of South
Africa - Marcel Kohler - Volume 5 Issue 3
The destabilising economic impact of South Africa’s dependence on imported crude oil is a key motivation behind the country’s drive to develop a biofuel industry. Much concern has been raised over the impact of biofuels production on price of food for the country's poor. It is this concern that has seen the prohibition of maize and the favouring of sugar cane as a feedstock in South Africa's Biofuels Industrial Strategy, such prohibitions should be mandated as part of biofuel production policies internationally. This paper sets out to analyse the economic feasibility of producing bioethanol from sugar based on the industry's efforts to diversify its market base. The study suggests that bioethanol production is financially viable at an average US$102/bbl for the period 2005-2015, based on estimates that producers typically pay the equivalent of US$67/bbl for sugar cane feedstock, incur approximately US$20/bbl in operating & maintenance costs and require the equivalent of US$15/bbl to recoup capital investments. To kick-start the commercial production of fuel grade ethanol in South Africa, producers require mandated subsidisation. State support for bioethanol producers in the form of a guaranteed minimum selling price for bioethanol of 95 percent of the basic fuel price, exemption from fuel taxes in addition to specific capital investment allowances are required.
 
Nuclear Power from an Ethical Perspective - Erhun Kula - Volume 5 Issue 3
The controversy over the merits of nuclear energy has been raging since the end of the Second World War. A breeder reactor both produces and consumes plutonium and thus this highly toxic material needs to be transported, sometimes across the national frontiers, over long distances which is a risky business. Furthermore, in the past, many nuclear scientists argued that the probability of a significant accident such as a core meltdown at a power station was negligible but the view on this has changed following the accidents at Three Mile Island in the USA, Chernobyl in Ukraine and Fukishima in Japan. However, the most serious problem with nuclear energy is the safe disposal of highly dangerous nuclear wastes which could damage health, safety and civil liberties of future generations. Despite these problems, after a long pause, the British government has decided to rejuvenate its nuclear energy programme and to this effect has made a deal by offering a substantial public subsidy with the Chinese and French governments towards building a large nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. This paper looks at the ethical dimension of this undertaking by using the Rawlsian moral structure.
 
Income Inequality & Regressive Taxation in the United States - Bret N. Bogenschneider
- Volume 4 Issue 3
In recent decades the United States has been plagued by increasing levels of economic inequality. Such increase in economic inequality was posited to relate to excess compensation paid to corporate executives (Piketty & Saez, 2003). This article asserts that, to the contrary, the observed increase in economic inequality is due, in part, to regressive tax policies in the United States. Income inequality is further shown to have been significantly underreported by the failure to account for unrealized income on capital assets held by the wealthy.
 
Comment: Global Warming, Heating Up - Kenneth S. Friedman - Volume 5 Issue 2
This journal, IJEBL, in its initial issue, hosted an ongoing discussion on global warming, beginning with G. Smith and B. Grant’s article (2008) "Thermodynamics and the Economics of Sustainability," (Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law 1(1): 43-51). At that time there was less evidence as to the enormity of the problem. A recent paper, P. J. Gleckler, P. J. Durack, R. J. Stouffer, G. C. Johnson, C. E. Forest, “Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades,” Nature Climate Change (2016), provides important new insight. The amount of heat absorbed by the planet’s oceans in the past two decades is far greater than most had expected.