Category Archives: Economics

Mistaken Identity

Tom Doran on why capitalism—I think he means free enterprise—has liberated working-class women: When the average voter looks at Tesco, they do not see a sinister corporate megalith, raping and pillaging their way of life. Rather they see that keeping their family fed and clothed is now that much cheaper and easier. Moreover, they don’t […]

You Wouldn’t Steal A Parrot

The (Monty) Pythons raid YouTube, displacing poor-quality rip-offs of scenes from their films on the site by adding official, high-quality rip-offs. Are they mad? Well, they’re certainly richer. Their DVD sales have increased by 23 000 percent. [via Slashdot] Like this:Like Loading…

Credit Crunch Leads To Balance-Of-Satire Surplus

Here are two I enjoyed: Hopi Sen’s “What would Bertie Wooster do?” and The Daily Mash’s “Government takes 60% stake in Al-Qaeda”: The prime minister said : “We must ensure that, as an institution, it continues to provide a useful, ongoing threat without actually blowing things up.” The Daily Mash is a free online site. […]

Question Time

I’ve just had an email from Yvette Cooper. My first thought was: “Bloody hell, after all these years!” Then I remembered that, since leaving college, I have become a washed-up nobody and she has become a member of the Cabinet with two houses—both of which I am paying for. Not that I’m bitter. Coincidentally, property […]

Job Creation Scheme

Surely Margaret Thatcher doesn’t want a state funeral? I mean, that would require the government to pay people to dig a hole and fill it up again. Like this:Like Loading…

Bag Lady Collects Spare Change

It’s not just in the real world that inflation is a problem for those responsible for monetary policy. Right now, the virtual world of World of Warcraft needs to deal with an acute growth in money supply. Its administrators have decided to do so by conjuring many imaginary objects of enormous utility from nothing, giving […]

Ex-Scientist Recommends Government Offer Financial Incentive To Encourage Members Of CBI To Study Basic Economics

Following on from Tim’s comment, according to BBC News online: More young people would take science degrees if they were given a financial incentive, claim industry experts. […but obviously we’d rather the government came up with this financial incentive while we continue to offer those with science degrees less than they are worth, and complain […]

…No Dogs, No Irish…

a bitch, currently residing at a fine Welsh bed-and-breakfast establishment[click image to enlarge it] There’s a discussion going on over at Chris Dillow’s place about whether or not guest house owners should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples. Whatever is implied by Chris’s musings on the matter, markets are not the solution to this […]


This is the first time anything related to Pink Floyd has actually blown my mind: Cambridge-educated economist-turned-music-manager (Pink Floyd, The Clash, Ian Dury And The Blockheads, Billy Bragg) Peter Jenner … [has] put a figure on how much each music fan who buys music would have to pay in order for access to every song […]

Dust-Up At The Coffee Bar

I used to tithe a proportion of my earnings to Oxfam. At least three friends of mine have worked for them. One of them wrote the organisation’s first official monograph on the genocide in Rwanda. I stopped giving Oxfam my money when they sent me junk mail inviting me to invest in a so-called ethical […]

Clear Blue Water

First there was my shaking hands with Thatch. Then there were the disagreements about common ownership of the means of production. Now I’ve been linked by the Adam Smith Institute’s blog. My dad’s never going to talk to me again. Like this:Like Loading…

Honestly, I’m Completely Straight

If you are a middle-aged man then two things are going to happen to your hair soon: it’s going to fall out and it’s going to turn grey. My dad managed to escape both of these until he reached 60 years of age, but everyone accused him (unfairly) of using Grecian 2000, so he didn’t […]

How Free Markets For Talent Work, An Explanation For Talentless Market Freeloaders

Over the past couple of weeks there’s been a crop of stories in the media in which employers bleat about the “shortage” of trained scientists and the “shortage” of literate and numerate employees. As with most of these perennial news items—I’m sure most outlets now have ready-made Word templates so their journalists can bang them […]

The Evidence-Based Politics Of Envy

Further to my recent post about executive salaries, here’s an article from Tuesday about how the tech firms that pay their CEOs the most give the lowest returns to investors. [via Slashdot] Like this:Like Loading…

The Real Price Of Real Talent

Whenever some clueless line-toeing “executive” is asked to justify the absurd salaries that he and his peers vote one another, he usually wibbles on that you have to pay “the going rate” to attract the best talent or that huge “packages” are the only way to offset the risks inherent in working in today’s “entrepreneurial” […]


In its purest forms, capitalism can be ugly, like Mogadishu, or beautiful, like easyPizza. (Read more about The Stelios Way here.) Like this:Like Loading…

The American Disease

I would happily sign the Economist‘s editorial today on US healthcare myself (but for that paper’s irritating misuse of the word “America”). Many ‘Bloggers with an unthinking fetish for “market solutions” would do well to give it and the associated special report a scan: [N]owhere has a bigger health problem than America. Soaring medical bills […]

70s Revival Continues

I overheard two of the staff in Maplin today complaining that they had had to change the price on some piece of consumer electronics twice in one day. We live in the noughties now so both changes were decreases. A Chinese factory employee probably figured out some way to make ten of of whatever gadget […]

Back To The 70s

On Friday Saturday evening, I went out for a noisy drink with Mr and Mrs Wardytron, their livejournal friend Jim(?) and a posse of goths. Thank you, Wardy, for inviting me. It was fun. One of the few serious topics of conversation that came up was the new Conservative Party leader. It’s not been often […]

Gordon Speaks

…and the lowest unemployment since the Roman invasion of AD 54. [Cries of “Hear hear!” from Labour benches.] In the last fourteen quarters, under this Labour government, the seasonally adjusted Hall-Oates coefficient has remained within a fifth of a percent of its optimum range and this year the Ciccone measure is at its highest level […]

“Hello, Am I Through To Customer Services?”

Last night a Master’s student (whom I have never taught) phoned me to vent her justified frustration with one of her lecturers’ chronic incompetence. This keen and bright individual had done everything she could and should about the situation and complained through the correct channels. As usual in these situations she wasn’t the only member […]

Says It All

Who Knew? has a telling post. Imagine: you have invested your life savings in a multinational corporation, who would you choose to run, respectively, its US and UK arms: Bill Clinton and Tony Blair or George W Bush and John Major? Whatever happened to the Right’s ability just to manage serious stuff competently? Like this:Like […]

Oh, The Stupidity!

No analysis and no satire, I know, but I just want to say to as many people as possible right now that this policy is so wrong on so many levels that I can scarcely believe that it’s being proposed: More than 100,000 people could get onto the property ladder in the next five years […]

Microsoft Taxes Our Schools

I have been banging on about the advantages of open source software for schools for years, giving talks, writing green ink letters to civil servants, even (thanks to Patricia Hewitt) meeting some senior mandarins. Sadly, most politicians’ and bureaucrats’ understanding of information technology barely extends to email. This last fact, incidentally, might have something to […]

The Bottom Line

Under the headline “Mythical monsters”, the Lex column in today’s Financial Times deals with xenophobia the best way: not by appeal to warm-and-fuzzy multiculturalism, but by running the numbers. I liked it so much that I am typing this out from a photocopy of the article I made in the Campus library. The original piece […]

Centre For Competitiveness And Innovation

I’m not sure, but I think that my grandad worked in the original Leyland Truck factory in the town of Leyland, Lancashire. [My dad will correct me soon if I’ve got that wrong.] Today, Tim Worstall links to a study of the long slow decline of the endlessly government-subsidised Rover/British Leyland/BMC vehicle manufacturing group. The […]


Hey, maybe I could get a job in London and use my redundancy money as a deposit on my own place [requires Flash to view]. Like this:Like Loading…

Machine Logic

What happens when inflation on goods goes negative and inflation on services stays positive? You get a free computer for signing up with a mobile phone network. Like this:Like Loading…

Golden Farewell

Look at the photograph accompanying this article about the removal of HP’s former CEO Carly Fiorina. Try to keep your mind free of these words: “You are the weakest link. Goodbye.” Like this:Like Loading…

By Popular Request

Explanations of yesterday’s jokes are here and here. Deary me, the quality of my audience . Like this:Like Loading…

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