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Business and Society Economics

The New Scientist on Economics

Last year a strange bit of ‘neoliberal’ propaganda surfaced in the New Scientist of all places. In what purported to be a report of recent research, Washington University psychologist Pascal Boyer has written of how the ‘human mind is designed to misunderstand the mass-market economies we have created’. He says ‘evidence from psychology and anthropology…reveals […]

Categories
Economics

David Andolfatto on Money and Banking

Canadian economist and central banker David Andolfatto recently constructed a model intended to ‘reconcile’ (or I think more accurately to distinguish between) ‘mainstream’ and ‘heterodox’ views of the macroeconomic importance of money and banking. More specifically, he wants to answer the question: does the ability of banks to ‘create money’ when they issue loans give […]

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Business and Society Economics Philosophy

Socialism, Free Markets, Capitalism and Christopher Snowdon

Why do I consider myself to be of the ‘left’ rather than the ‘right’, despite the tendency for each term to be converted to a straw-man for all the pet hates of those attaching to the opposing label? For me, to be of the left designates a prioritisation of co-operation over competition. It is to […]

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Economics Money and Banking News

The Fragility of Bitcoin

Launched in 2009, and of wider interest since 2013, the ‘cryptocurrency’ Bitcoin has seen both a rise in its value in relation to existing national and supranational currencies, and in the discussion of its forming a partial or even complete replacement to those currencies. This article outlines the nature of Bitcoin and of traditional currencies […]

Categories
Economics Inequality

The Role of Capital in Inequality

Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century”, published in 2014, played an important role in directing attention to the issue of inequality in the developed economies of the 21st century. The book was both praised and criticised from many parts of the political and economic spectrum. Least controversial was his laying out of the evidence […]

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Business and Society Economics Inequality News Politics

If ‘Neoliberalism’ Is So Great, Why Lie About It?

What is it about ideological free marketeers and their shaky relationship with the facts? Everyone likes markets and free exchange is one of the best manifestations of human co-operation there is – so why tell lies about their limitations and the infrastructure required to make them work for our benefit? Sam Bowman of the Adam […]

Categories
Economics Politics

Bad Targets for Policy 2: Immigration

For most of us, it’s a great boon to live in a world in which travel between even distant parts is relatively cheap and takes hours rather than days, weeks or months. We can visit, explore and learn about places and people we never could have done only 40 years ago. More than that, if […]

Categories
Economics Money and Banking Politics

Bad Targets for Policy 1: Government Debt

This is the first blog in a two-part series on ‘Bad Targets for Policy’. The second in the series will be on immigration. We’ve seen a lot of focus on the ‘costing’ of policies in the parties’ manifestos for the forthcoming UK election. But we must remember that money is only a means of keeping […]

Categories
Economics Inequality Philosophy Politics Press Regulation

China, Democracy and Reality

  Having recently had the opportunity to visit China and combine that with some reading about the country, I’ve come away with some inevitably fairly superficial thoughts about how the Chinese and the West do things differently. While the Chinese government sets limits on voiced or organised challenges to the Communist Party’s control of the […]

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Economics Healthcare News Politics

Explaining the NHS Crisis: Lies, Damn Lies and Health Spending

Introduction Just how much cash does the NHS and social care need to prevent the distressing stories of patients languishing on trolleys for hours in A&E departments? Can we possibly afford what it needs, or is it really a ‘bottomless pit’ as often claimed? Do we need to lower our expectations of what can be […]