Anything can happen when faith comes under fire. Take the classic tale of Peter the Apostle, who denied Christ three times before the rooster crowed; and in a more modern twist, take Prime Minister May, who this week managed to dodge stating her support for West Cumberland Hospital’s maternity services four times over the course ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
The challenge for Greece is how to reduce taxes without lowering government revenue in a stagnant economy that is under tight fiscal monitoring by its lenders. Global experience has shown that one of the most effective ways to increase economic activity, and eventually increase tax revenue, is to reduce corporate taxes. There is a wide ... Continue reading
Government and Institutions
The financial crash knocked some of the stuffing out of the economics profession, though you wouldn’t know it given the confidence with which economists still parade their forecasts. A few – especially those with a monetarist or Austrian inclination – publicly expressed concern about policy in 2005-2007, but nobody from the mainstream predicted a financial ... Continue reading
Markets and Morality
The universal Church has not always been a strong supporter of globalisation and certainly not of free trade. In 1967, for example, Pope Paul VI published Populorum progressio. This was a major encyclical on human development which inspired the creation of Cafod and many other charitable organisations. The document was highly critical of free trade, ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Continued from Part 1   The great 20th century economist Joseph Schumpeter noted that it is not our technological capabilities that hold back our innovative powers, but the economic and social conditions of a time. This aversion to “creative destruction” has been present throughout history, with even Queen Elizabeth I rejecting the patenting of a ... Continue reading
By and large, free-marketeers understand where their opponents are coming from. We understand what explicit or implicit assumptions they make about the world, and why a lot of their conclusions make sense under those assumptions. Most of us could pass an ‘ideological Turing test’, such as attending a Momentum gathering and pretending to be a ... Continue reading
Labour Market
I was on The Big Questions (BBC1) recently talking about poverty. Specifically I was trying to help answer the question 'Will more children be raised in poverty?' The topic may have been inspired by a report from the Resolution Foundation released this week which predicted falling living standards and rising inequality for the rest of the ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Artificial Intelligence (AI), the pipe dream of cognitive scientists and engineers in the 1950s, has until recently been the domain of science fiction, though once again it has become a huge field of research and technological innovation. Kickstarted by research in Deep Learning, the most cutting edge combination of pursuits in Machine Learning and Neural ... Continue reading
I should not have let my optimistic side get the better of me. 2016 may be behind us, but its lessons have not fully been learned, particularly by government leaders who still seem to think that big talk is equivalent to big action in the eyes of the public. Take today’s housing white paper; the ... Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago an all-party Parliamentary Group report warned that many nursery schools may have to close, and called for a financial bailout from our beleaguered government. It was only the latest demand for extra state spending: in the last few months the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Welsh government, the ... Continue reading