Don’t build a ‘new economics’ without properly understanding the old

James Meadway, economic adviser to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, has written in the ourEconomy section of Open Democracy on the necessity for ‘building a new economics’: Some parts [of new economics] are half-remembered, and then placed together in peculiar (and often largely useless) new ways, like “Modern Monetary Theory” – a reconstruction of post-war Keynesianism… Read more

‘Diet’ Universal Basic Income

Those who follow these things will know that Labour has spoken approvingly of a New Economics Foundation suggested ‘Basic Income’ for everyone earning less than £125,000 a year (though some, including me, think that any sort of means test is not actually desirable – what is desirable is proper taxes on UNEARNED income (which was… Read more

Not on the money

There is an interesting report in Business Insider of a survey of America’s economists. It states In the latest survey of 42 of America’s top economists by the Chicago Booth School of Business, not a single respondent agreed with the basic tenants [I think they meant tenets!] of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT): 36% of economists… Read more

BoM March 2019

Our March 2019 book of the month is The Lies We Were Told: Politics, Economics, Austerity and Brexit by Prof Simon Wren-Lewis. I have been increasingly worried about media bias over the past few decades. This seemed to start  with anti-EU propaganda – at best highly distorted and at worst completely fictional stories in the… Read more

The Brexit burden

I’m not a great fan of the Independent Group, but this speech from the ex Tory, Anna Soubry is really stirring stuff. (She must have been a good criminal lawyer.) I wonder whether the Conservative’s Brexit dividing line is between those who are good constituency MP’s and those that don’t care. My entirely anecdotal evidence… Read more

Supporting the NHS

We are told that 6% of NHS health staff are EU nationals and the NHS has 100,000 staff positions unfilled. Yet according to the Medical Schools Council the government determines the number of medical school places available each year. For England that is 7,500. Each medical school is allowed to recruit a maximum of 7.5%… Read more

Saving energy and GDP

A recent article in ‘Carbon Brief’ bemoans the well known paradox of energy having to decline whilst all the while GDP is supposed to increase. The writers have developed the UK MAcroeconometric Resource COnsumption (MARCO-UK) model: As they indicate, the major novelty in MARCO-UK is that it includes a thermodynamic representation of energy flows through… Read more

Don’t use MMT except in an emergency?

For the first time that I am aware of MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) has been mentioned in the UK ‘mainstream’ rather than specialist press. David Smith, Economics correspondent of the ‘Sunday Times’, published an article in the paper on Sunday which is reproduced with free access on his own website. He states: Then there is… Read more

DuckDuckGo

In order to shelter ourselves to some small extent from the current UK political incompetence or even vandalism, perhaps we should turn our attention to sheltering ourselves from an the all too competent behemoth that is the grasp of Google. American though it is, Google has an even greater share of the search market in… Read more