Public service broadcasting should be removed from the public policy lexicon and the BBC should be privatised – though not necessarily fully commercialised. The concept of “public service broadcasting” might have been justifiable at one time: it is no longer. The vested interests that want to protect the current funding model of public service broadcasting ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The media have been excited by two American management academics, Leah Sheppard and Stefanie Johnson, who claim to find that highly attractive women are not rated as trustworthy as less attractive women and men. The implication of much of the discussion seems to be that attractive women are discriminated against. I have doubts about this study, ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
High pay has been a political concern for more than a quarter of a century, but this concern is growing as we learn more and more about what other people are paid. The political winds have changed: where Labour’s Peter Mandelson was ‘intensely relaxed’ about high pay, the Conservatives’ Caroline Nokes now thinks nobody should ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
It didn’t take long until the first hammer-and-sickle flags were spotted at the climate change strikes. Given the woeful environmental track record of socialist economies, socialism and environmentalism should not be natural bedfellows. In practice, they usually are. The reason is that socialists and environmentalists often start from the same place: an intuitive, visceral dislike ... Continue reading
According to a recent YouGov survey, one in four people think a No Deal Brexit would be a good outcome, and another 13 per cent see at as at least acceptable. The option of leaving the EU without a deal enjoys the support of a significant minority, both on its own terms, and when directly ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
As mentioned before, I am using this blog to occasionally respond to readers’ comments and critiques of my book Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies. I have previously written on the distinction between socialism and social democracy, as well as on the (supposed) distinction between socialism and communism. More recently, some readers have suggested ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Rutger Bregman, the Dutch historian and left-wing activist, has gained something of a cult following in Britain. Bregman’s sales tactic of passing off conventional wisdom as bold and radical thinking fits perfectly with the mood of our times. But not everybody is equally impressed. Bregman recently had a spat with Michael Portillo on the BBC’s ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The National Minimum Wage is 20 years old today. Despite the controversy surrounding its inception, it is now widely accepted across the political spectrum. As I noted recently, it looks as though Philip Hammond wants to increase it significantly in the coming years. Certainly the Labour Party wants to do so. When the minimum wage was first ... Continue reading
Game theory, or the economics of bargaining under conditions of rational decision-making, has been a popular branch of the dismal science since the 1970s. It helps explain why negotiations often have unexpected, or sub-optimal outcomes - something highly relevant to the UK and EU’s current travails over Brexit, particularly the impact of politics on the ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Rolling Stones lead guitarist Keith Richards was once asked by an interviewer whether he ever got bored with some of the old Rolling Stones songs. (I can’t get no) Satisfaction, for example, was first released in 1965, but the Stones are still playing it today. Far from it, Richards replied. A song isn’t finished just ... Continue reading