Merit is the idea that the most just distribution of social and economic goods falls to those who work hard for them and demonstrate required skills at an appropriately high level. The correlate of that is that the process by which individuals advance in society and are rewarded should be by them demonstrating the required… Continue reading On Meritocracy: Is merit or good fortune the driver of success?
The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. (Karl Marx) The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. (Friedrich August von Hayek) The right to private property… Continue reading The Importance of Ownership
Bjorn Lomborg (New York, NY: Basic books, 2020) For a long time, there has been no real centre ground politically on climate change: either you are a believer in green activism and its policy platform or a denier, it seems. This is nowhere more demonstrably seen than in the US, where stance on climate change… Continue reading Review: False Alarm: How climate change panic costs us trillions, hurts the poor and fails to fix the planet.
Introduction Until the present crisis and the cessation of most social and economic activity the main concern in people’s minds was the economic challenges and opportunities created by Brexit. By contrast with the challenges ahead presented by the economic fallout of the national lockdown, those posed by Brexit now seem insignificant. Predictions vary as to… Continue reading The Economic Future of the Nation: Human Value and Institutional Wealth
In the present crisis precipitated by the Covid 19 virus there is an elephant in the room. It is a type of Utilitarian argument that the political considerations of the strategy that should be enacted – irrespective of the scientific advice – should be driven by the interests of the greatest number. In its harshest… Continue reading The Politics and Economics of Trust in a Time of Crisis
‘From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs’ (Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program) Introduction Until recently few people would have heard of Universal Basic Income (UBI), despite the idea having been around for more than 200 years.1 Although it has gone under various names and had various proposed… Continue reading Universal Basic Income and the promises and perils of a leisured economy
Following the forced resignation of Travis Kalanick as CEO of Uber last month amidst allegations of rampant sexism, harassment, and misogyny in the workplace, the morality (or lack thereof) of the fat cats that sit atop the economic pyramid that is global capitalism is well and truly back in the spotlight. Perhaps it is a welcome change from… Continue reading The Morality of Markets?
Since Adam Smith the prevailing view in economics has been that the free market operates through a principle of rational self-interest. Much as Darwin later identified the underlying mechanism for the variety and dynamism of nature operating at the individual level, so Smith atomised the creation of wealth to the individual’s self-interest: “It is… Continue reading Adam Smith and the Rationality of Self-Interest
Now that the dust kicked up in the hubbub preceding and succeeding the Brexit referendum result is beginning to settle, the real options facing the UK (and indeed the EU itself) are becoming visible as battle lines are drawn for the playing out of the Article 50 process. Or perhaps the lines were always clearly delineated,… Continue reading Three Cheers for the EU ‘Single Market’ (but Not Four)