Archive for the Paul Ormerod Category

This pandemic may lead to more trade barriers, but is that such a bad thing?

This pandemic may lead to more trade barriers, but is that such a bad thing?

The current crisis dominates everything, from trade to everyday life. But, within a relatively short space of time, it will pass. What next? What will be the “new normal” after coronavirus? A key policy aim across the west for many decades since the Second World War was

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To pay for this crisis, the government must keep in mind Ricardian equivalence

To pay for this crisis, the government must keep in mind Ricardian equivalence

John Maynard Keynes could certainly craft a neat phrase. In the Second World War, he wrote in his pamphlet How to Pay for the War: “It is only in a free community that the task of government is complicated by the cause of social justice.” The impact

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How mathematical models attempt to predict the spread of disease

How mathematical models attempt to predict the spread of disease

The various pronouncements on coronavirus are a source of puzzlement to many. On the one hand there are lurid predictions of millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. On the other, while the actual numbers are growing, they seem tiny so far compared to the

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Priti Patel vs. Philip Rutnam: It’s in Britain’s interest that bureaucracy does not win

Priti Patel vs. Philip Rutnam: It’s in Britain’s interest that bureaucracy does not win

The reverberations around the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam, the top civil servant at the Home Office, continue. Priti Patel, the home secretary, is receiving a barrage of abuse. Labour’s John McDonnell has pronounced that he cannot see how Patel could carry on. He raised the possibility

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Citizens assemblies are no solution to the climate challenge — we need innovation

Citizens assemblies are no solution to the climate challenge — we need innovation

At first sight, long-term swings in individual seats in Australian elections are a definite niche interest, one for the real trainspotter. But during a visit to Sydney University’s Complex Systems Institute, I noticed a fascinating piece in The Australian newspaper. The Australian Labor Party had a good

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Time for the Treasury to get with the programme — Britain can afford to spend

Time for the Treasury to get with the programme — Britain can afford to spend

In the days of the old Soviet Union, so-called Kremlinologists would pore over every utterance of the Politburo, every sentence in Pravda, to try to work out what was really going on. Sajid Javid’s defenestration from the Treasury has led to an upsurge in similar types of

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Let the Iowa fiasco serve as a warning — new technology isn’t always the answer Opinion

Let the Iowa fiasco serve as a warning — new technology isn’t always the answer Opinion

Last week, the entire world witnessed the shambles of the vote counting in the Iowa Democratic caucus. It should have been straightforward — but adding all the votes up in a consistent way took a whole week. The list of errors is as long as your arm.

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The ‘graduate premium’ is little more than a myth — invest in further education instead

The ‘graduate premium’ is little more than a myth — invest in further education instead

Universities and their students are seldom out of the news. Ever since Tony Blair pledged to send 50 per cent of 18–21 year olds to university, they have been a persistent topic in political economy. University towns now notoriously favour Labour at the ballot box, often an

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Want to level up the UK? Look at disparity within the regions, not just between them

Want to level up the UK? Look at disparity within the regions, not just between them

It is a truth which has rapidly become universally acknowledged (to borrow Jane Austen’s famous phrase) that the government must deliver for its new supporters in the regions. This is a massive challenge. The gap in income per head, for example, between London and other areas of

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From A&E waiting times to the Windrush scandal, beware bureaucratic targets

From A&E waiting times to the Windrush scandal, beware bureaucratic targets

Last week, health secretary Matt Hancock signalled an important change of strategy. Accident and Emergency Departments have a target that 95 per cent of patients should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours. Hancock suggested that the target will be scrapped. Instead, wait times will be

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