The enormous costs of short-termism


Energy and Environment

Andy Mayer writes in The Express

Energy and Environment

Andy Mayer quoted in the Daily Express

Kristian Niemietz is quoted in The Times

IEA Head of Political Economy, Kristian Niemietz was quoted in The Times by economist Ryan Bourne, who discussed the damage caused by policy makers’ tendency to prioritise present over future.

The article references a video from 2010 in which Nick Clegg argues against use of nuclear power because it may have taken until 2021 or 2022 to build new capacity. Ruing Clegg’s analysis, the article states “what’s striking to the contemporary ear is the way 2022 is dismissed as some distant future. This exemplifies what Kristian Niemietz, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, dubs the implicitly high “discount rate” of politicians. They can talk about protecting “future generations”, but then treat effects even a decade ahead as largely irrelevant.”

The article also discusses some other policy areas where short-termism has had dire consequences, from the way we analyse policies by their redistributive effects rather than growth outcomes, to the government’s unwillingness to tackle NIMBYs.

The full article can be read here.