Funny money

There was a very listenable recent Radio 4 comedy programme ‘Simon Evans goes to Market on -Philanthropy’ where one of the contributors, Tim Harford, broadcast the damning quote by the future President Roosevelt on Rockefeller’s desire to create a charitable foundation. “No amount of charity in spending such fortunes can compensate in any way for… Read more

The English Civil War and its Ongoing Legacy

I know the English Civil War started in 1642 and ended 9 years later so you’re probably thinking it can’t have much of a legacy now. I just think it might. In the 1580’s the cleric, Richard Hooker, often considered to have written Britain’s first philosophical treatise, ‘The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity’ wrote  [Book 1… Read more

The Inclusive Development Index

At Progressive Pulse we have never been a fan of GDP or GDP per capita as a measure of the economic well-being of a country. There has been some discussion regarding median income being a very useful measure. A better measure perhaps is the Inclusive Development Index (IDI) which is billed as “a measure of… Read more

It’s all in the vocabulary

Australia started it in the form of a small tax rebate in 2009, and it seems that South Korea and Russia are next. What is it? So called helicopter money. It is true that in Australia the amount was small and to every tax payer – whereas the Russian and Korean versions are targeted at… Read more

Property – up, up and away

There are some rather old but devastating trends in this ‘Positive Money’ chart (click to enlarge):   Housing stock and population growth are completely divorced from either house prices or mortgage lending. As I suspected before, the housing market is one that is completely dysfunctional. When our nurses cannot even obtain a secure home we… Read more

Everything you ever wanted to know about Bitcoin – and just a little bit more

There is a marvelous article in the ‘Washington Post’ (yes, I know it’s owned by Bezos, the man that owns Amazon, so is not my usual read either) but it provides the best summary of Bitcoin that I’ve yet encountered. I’ve quoted the introduction to whet the appetite: Bitcoin changes prices too quickly to be… Read more

The subterfuge of the tax return

In my recent talk on tax I unsurprisingly mentioned the tax return. Whilst it is not essential to our understanding of what tax is we should at least recognise it as the blatant subterfuge it is: This (tax summary) form was created by George Osborne. It is a shameless example of state produced ideological propaganda… Read more