For our Prime Minister: a short history lesson on technological change and human progress

Last Friday my fellow Progressive Pulse contributor, Charles Adams, rightly took issue with our Prime Minister’s claim that a free market economy ‘was the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created.’  We are now familiar with May’s ability to spout nonsensical and frequently hollow statements but this was a peach even by May’s standards… Read more

Science and technology are the greatest agents of collective human progress.

Surely, only a politician could think that: “A free-market economy, operating under the right rules and regulations, is the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created.” Or maybe a politician and an economist. For everyone else, a much stronger case can be made for mathematics and written language, or science and medicine, or the ability… Read more

Lists of the ‘elite’ are interesting, but never forget that power is at its most effective when it is least observable.

Earlier this week, on the 24th September to be precise, The Guardian made a big splash about an analysis of what it claimed were the UK’s most powerful people – the ‘elite’. This provoked various responses, including one from a good friend of the Progressive Pulse blog, Richard Murphy, on his Tax Research blog (http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2017/09/25/we-need-good-administrators-but-the-guardians-wrong-to-consider-them-the-elite/)… Read more

Uber – too big to hail

When the London Black Cab Taxi Drivers took Uber to court it was established that not only was the Uber app not the equivalent of being able to ply for random hire in the street as Black Cabs, with their unique set of more onerous regulations, were able to, but also that the app showing… Read more

Trickle up in pictures

How trickle down led to trickle up is probably a familiar story to most readers of Progressive Pulse but still it is worth seeing the evidence in the data. This data is for the US and comes from the work of Piketty, Saez and Zucman. (The UK is slightly less extreme but has been following the… Read more

The unbalanced economy

I’m pretty certain that Capx website is not for the most radical of writers. And certainly the author I stumbled upon used to write for the ‘Telegraph’. But under the heading: ‘There’s a new sub prime crisis’ and ‘the payday lending market has exploded since 2008’ the article considers Provident’s problems. This is a company… Read more

‘Democracy in Chains’: a US export that’s not as new as some might claim

On Wednesday I read George Monbiot’s most recent column in The Guardian* in which he briefly discusses James McGill Buchanan, a man who features prominently in US historian Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. As Monbiot notes, McLean’s book makes what has previously… Read more