Housing pathology and paralysis

A few weeks ago Janan Ganesh in the FT described the UK housing market as an ‘institutionalised pathology’. The problems that the housing market is causing for the British economic and political system seemingly become ever more apparent by the day. There is an increasingly strong coalition of […]

Is third party expertise just what the kids need?

On Thursday Noah put up a brief post on the Market Priesthood. It relates the story of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, of Freakonomics fame, meeting David Cameron, of Coalition Government fame. Levitt and Dubner tried to persuade Cameron that health care was just like any other part […]

Grappling with big ideas

I’ve just published some thoughts on last night’s Bristol Festival of Ideas event over at Medium.com: Last night I attended a cracking event to mark the relaunch Pelican books, organised under the auspices of the Bristol Festival of Ideas. The authors of four of the initial five volumes published […]

Shaping housing policy post-2015

It’s clear we’re already entering what is going to be a very long election campaign in the run up to May 2015. In the housing policy field we’re seeing plenty of organisations pitching ideas at the moment, with the aim of influencing the content of the manifestos for […]

Ed’s brave housing proposal

Rent regulation and three year tenancies. That’s Ed’s big housing idea for the private rented sector. It is what the people wanted. Well, quite a lot of people appear to support the idea. But even before the formal announcement has been made it is apparent that some are […]

Putting the state beyond scrutiny

Anyone with a liberal bone in their body ought to be concerned. Liberals need no convincing about the damaging effects of concentrations of power, in either the public or the private sector.  There is therefore a preoccupation with checks and balances – mechanisms for curbing power and holding […]

Irritating UKIP

Yesterday evening I attended a European Parliamentary hustings at the University of Bristol. Five parties were represented on the platform – including three of the South West’s MEPs. There were probably seven hundred people in the audience. So a discussion of European politics can attract a decent crowd […]

Economics Budo

The spectrum of response to this week’s Post-Crash Economics Society report on economics education – or their more specific proposal on a module panics and bubbles – has been intriguing, if not entirely unexpected. Some economists have welcomed the students’ aspirations for greater critical engagement with the material […]

Dissent in the ranks

You’d expect lefties to kick up a fuss about the Coalition’s austerity-justified policies. An agenda that is having serious negative impacts upon the most vulnerable, while at the same time transferring wealth to the already wealthy, will have a tendency to annoy those who prioritize solidarity, dignity and […]

Wise words

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“a person is not likely to be a good political economist who is nothing else”
(JS Mill, 1806-1873)

“No section of the people has ever been excluded from political power without suffering legislative injustice”
(Millicent Garrett Fawcett, 1847-1929)

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable”
(JK Galbraith, 1908-2006)