Category Archives: Economics

Why the west is stagnant

Thomas Piketty, the French economist, calculates that more than half of total wealth in Germany* today is inherited — an estimate confirmed by German economists. In the 1960s and 1970s, the share was just a little over 20 per cent. … Continue reading

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Overconfidence

Overconfidence, though, can be hugely damaging. Daniel Kahneman has called it the most dangerous of all cognitive biases. The three worst decisions in the UK in the last 20 years – Blair’s war in Iraq, RBS’s takeover of ABM Amro … Continue reading

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An Unforeseen Consequence of the Dissolution of the Monasteries

England was shattered by the dissolution of the Roman Catholic church in the 1530s. One unforeseen consequence was the destruction of provision for the poor. The monasteries had a religious duty towards them. Those who were entirely incapable of surviving … Continue reading

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Technology and beneficial job destruction

Introduction Traditionally work was regarded as a necessity. This is challenged by constant improvements in technological devices and strategies. Entire sectors of employment have disappeared. The changes cause immediate pain through unemployment, which is the price of economic innovation. Constant … Continue reading

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Book Review: Richard Davies ~ Extreme Economies: Survival * Failure * Future – Lessons from the World’s Limits (2019)

Davies book has three parts. Each part is a case study. Davies’s book reflects global fieldwork, which is done brilliantly. Section one: Survival features an eye-catching analysis of Angola prison in Louisiana, USA. American justice(?) is barbaric,…average sentence for an … Continue reading

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Strategies for surviving the Qatar World Cup in 2022

To survive the summer heat, Qatar not only air-conditions its soccer stadiums, but also the outdoors — in markets, along sidewalks, even at outdoor malls so people can window shop with a cool breeze. “If you turn off air conditioners, … Continue reading

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A Chinese jobs creation programme

In a story beloved by economists it’s said that Milton Friedman* was once visiting China when he was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, thousands of workers were toiling away building a canal with shovels. … Continue reading

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