Over the past year or so, I have occasionally mocked socialists for their tendency to disown real-world socialist experiments whenever they end in failure (as they always do), and to revert to their favourite excuse: “But that wasn’t REAL socialism! REAL socialism has never been tried!” Some readers got back to me on social media, claiming ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
One year after the British public voted to leave the EU, the UK has avoided the immediate slide into recession that many feared. Admittedly, growth did stall in the first quarter of 2017. But only part of this slowdown was due to Brexit and there are already signs of a revival in the second. Over ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Overfishing is often presented as a classic example of market failure. When individual fishing enterprises are competing, the benefits of winning the ‘race to fish’ accrue to the successful ones, while the costs of depletion are shared among all the fishermen in the fishery. There are therefore poor incentives for conservation – the so-called ‘tragedy ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Economists don’t normally think of ourselves as having superpowers, but if we did, it would probably be the power to “see the unseen” as Bastiat observed over 150 years ago. The great thing about this superpower is that it allows us to break through conventional ways of thinking to gain new insights. Sometimes it even ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
A few days ago, a YouGov survey asked people whether they thought that "a genuinely socialist government" would make Britain a better place, or a worse place to live. A solid relative majority, 43%, picked the former option. Only 36% believe that a Socialist People's Republic of Great Britain would be a worse place than ... Continue reading

Jamie Whyte writes for Conservative Home

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, the senior figures of the Labour Party, are genuine socialists – industry-nationalising, wage-regulating, Venezuela-loving, soakers of the rich. In last week’s general election, they won 40 per cet of the vote. Polls suggest that, if the election were re-held today, Labour would win a majority. This may seem ... Continue reading
“[Venezuela] is deep in crisis. It has the world’s highest inflation rate—720 percent and rising. Its currency has plummeted to less than 1 percent of its official value, making it hard to import food. Hunger is endemic. Buying food at subsidised shops where price controls operate involves queuing for four hours, only on certain days, ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Myth busting is a risky business. If the myth you try to bust is in fact an important truth, you end up looking silly. Ha-Joon Chang, the Cambridge University economist, ran this risk in The Guardian last week with an article entitled “The myths about money that British voters should reject”. The last of his ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Jeremy Corbyn’s BBC interview with Andrew Neil last week caught the headlines for its discussion of the Labour leader’s views about terrorism and its causes. He thinks Western foreign policy is responsible for Islamist terrorism. He might be wrong, but the idea isn’t plainly ridiculous. By contrast, you could write a book about the errors ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
There is an old and often very useful adage that “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” But that hasn’t stopped some people from arguing that the next government can ramp up spending without worrying about where the money will come from, because the additional spending will somehow pay for ... Continue reading