About this Blog

About Robert

I am an economist, working in Canberra, Australia, for the Australian Government. I’m 40 years old, married with no children. I have degrees in economics and psychology from the Australian National University.

About the name of the Blog

An exasperating calculator is an economist. An exasperated calculator is an economist with too many opinions…

A favourite insult for economists in Australia is to call them an ‘Economic Rationalist‘, a term apparently gaining some use overseas now.

But while the term was new, the insult was not. Economists have been a favoured target in Australia for many years, and the name of this blog goes back to one of the earlier instances of this trope. In 1930 Keith Hancock wrote in his book Australia:

All Australian economists endorse the warnings which the Tariff Board has uttered in recent years. All of them are agreed that the soaring costs of Protection are menacing Australian prosperity. The guardians of Australian orthodoxy have thought it necessary to refute these exasperating calculators; but the great majority of Australians is unaware that there is anything to refute.

(Emphasis added, taken from issue 4 of The Revivalist, The Cult of Protectionism in Australia, originally published in 1930).

And so exasperating calculators came to be a (somewhat) common term to refer to economists in Australia.

It is also a title of a 2001 book, Exasperating Calculators (link goes to a review).

Technical Stuff

This weblog is hosted at Dreamhost, who provide great service for the price they charge. Tell them I sent you by using the code EXCAL to sign up.

The weblog is powered by WordPress.

Certain icons come from the Silk Icons set.

The theme has been handbuilt by me, with some code taken from the WordPress default theme.

Inspiration was taken from Daring Fireball, particularly in terms of the design. All hail Gruber!

I post using TextMate, and mainly use Markdown encoding.

Akismet get rid of my spam for me.