George Ferguson’s Vision for Bristol: A response

Last night George Ferguson gave his first Mayoral State of the City address in the Great Hall of the Wills Memorial Building. This launched both the Mayor’s Vision for Bristol and the consultation on the local authority budget. Following the Mayor’s presentation there were brief responses from Alexandra […]

Is the Minister of State being naïve or disingenuous?

Sometimes pronouncements emanating from Liberal Democrat Ministers are a puzzle. They are either naïve or disingenuous. And if they are disingenuous then they must think we’re all naïve. The proximate cause of this observation is Norman Baker’s post “We’re not turning into authoritarians!” at Liberal Democrat Voice yesterday. […]

New towns parked?

One of the few policy proposals that has been able to gain support across the political spectrum is the idea that we need a new generation of new towns. If we are going to make a serious attempt to address England’s housing problems we are not going to […]

On mainstream economics and neoliberalism

One of the most intriguing questions facing the merry band of wanderers interested in the philosophy and history of economics is how mainstream economic approaches appear to have emerged relatively unscathed from the Global Financial Crisis. Casual observers might well find this a bit of a puzzle. A […]

Careful now

If you were entertaining any idea that changes to property and land taxes could help to curb the volatility of the UK housing market then just stop it. That is the message of a new report Taxing Issues? released by the Policy Exchange this week. This is a […]

Where is public policy? And where next?

There seems to be quite a bit of reflection on the current state of play in the study of public policy at the moment. I have recently offered something on the topic myself. A couple of months ago Peter John posted a draft paper online entitled New directions […]

Seeking a post-crash economics

Mathematics brought rigor to economics. Unfortunately, it also brought mortis. Attributed to Kenneth Boulding From a couple of posts in the Guardian over the last week you could get the sense that the move to recast economics is gathering momentum. Last Thursday the emergence of the Post-Crash Economics […]

Towards a global parliament of mayors?

How should a world characterised by increasingly complex interdependence be governed? If most of the major challenges we face have no respect for the artificial borders marking out nation states, how can we identify and deliver effective solutions? The answer Benjamin Barber offered in his stimulating presentation at the Bristol Festival […]

Wise words

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“Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult”
(Samuel Johnson, 1709-94)

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

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