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President of Ireland

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President of Ireland

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“The Economic Debate: From the Great Famine to Today - The Australian/Irish Dimensions.”

Thursday, 12th October, 2017

Time: 17:50

Location: University of Melbourne

President Higgins delivered a keynote speech at the University of Melbourne, entitled "The Economic Debate - The Australian/Irish Dimensions."

In his speech, the President outlined the history of economic theory and academic thought, and made the case for a re-introduction of moral and ethical considerations in economic decision-making, and a re-assertion of ‘the common good’ as an important value, to counter the effects of the assumed spirit of selfishness and perfect market competition that underpins much contemporary economic discourse.

The President also warned of the effects of fracturing social cohesion, “as our societies become increasingly divided between what one refers to as ‘the lucky’ and ‘the left out’, arguing for greater emphasis on education for “fiscal and economic literacy”, which the President argues “may be as import to cohesion, citizenship and democracy itself, as mass literacy was in previous centuries to universal suffrage, parliamentary democracy and the sovereignty of the people.”