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A ray of light in these dark days: Living standards have risen far more than we think

A ray of light in these dark days: Living standards have risen far more than we think

The media seems full of gloom at the moment. Chaos over Brexit, Saudi Arabia, potential nuclear escalation between the US and Russia – you name it, people are worried about it. A ray of light is shone – an apt phrase as you will see – by

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Can we innovate better outside the EU? Economic lessons from the Nobel prize winner

Can we innovate better outside the EU? Economic lessons from the Nobel prize winner

Gordon Brown’s time as chancellor will be remembered for many things. A sense of humour would be conspicuously absent from this list. But he provoked a great deal of mirth unintentionally in a speech shortly before the 1997 General Election on the theme of “post-neoclassical endogenous growth theory”.

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Bereft of new ideas, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is dead set on sticking its head in the sand

Bereft of new ideas, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is dead set on sticking its head in the sand

One of the most dispiriting aspects of the Labour Party conference, which ended last week, is how deeply conservative the political left has become. Its remedies for Britain’s problems look to the past and not the future. Far from embracing new technology, the left is hostile to

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At long last, economists appreciate that private debt was the catalyst for the crisis

At long last, economists appreciate that private debt was the catalyst for the crisis

This month saw the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a collapse which precipitated one of the only two global financial crises of the past 150 years. The late 2000s and early 1930s were the only periods in time when capitalism itself has trembled on

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The Bank of England’s own data negates Carney’s overhyped house price warning

The Bank of England’s own data negates Carney’s overhyped house price warning

No one can tell them quite like Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England. He appears to have briefed the cabinet last week that house prices could fall by 35 per cent in the event of a no-deal Brexit. To be fair, the Bank did

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The economic answer behind superstar salaries

The economic answer behind superstar salaries

Rugby Union’s Premiership season is underway again. This is yet another professional sport which operates on the principles of socialism: the money all ends up in the pockets of what we might call the “workers”. In a sport which was allegedly only played by amateurs until the

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Unemployment down, GDP up – there’s no logic for a public spending boost now

Unemployment down, GDP up – there’s no logic for a public spending boost now

Despite the warmth of the days, there is a distinct autumn feel to the mornings. And in the autumn, thoughts begin to turn to the Budget. Speculation has already begun about what the chancellor Philip Hammond might or might not do. For Labour, recent weeks have been

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From Venezuela to East Berlin, people will always choose capitalism over socialism

From Venezuela to East Berlin, people will always choose capitalism over socialism

How many people across the world in the history of humanity have fled from a capitalist country to a socialist one? There was much amusement at the height of the long miners’ strike of 1984/85. A National Union of Mineworkers official from Yorkshire, a crony of Marxist

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The economics of tourist overload

The economics of tourist overload

I am in Edinburgh for a few days at the Festival, where even Jeremy Corbyn has appeared. Disappointingly, he was not playing the role of Carmela Soprano, the mafia don’s wife who is always present but never involved. Previously, I had been on Skye. Last month, I

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