Category Archives: economics

More Thoughts on UBI

The main problem with Universal Basic Income proposals is that there are so many of them, and they are so completely different from one another, that the term is no longer meaningful. But the current need for governments to distribute … Continue reading

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What’s Wrong with Yang’s UBI Proposal?

US Democrat presidential nomination candidate Andrew Yang includes a kind of universal basic income in his platform; and he identifies it as a “dividend” which I prefer because it clarifies that it is not welfare but a deserved share of … Continue reading

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Capitalism is generally thought of as a phenomenon of the last two or three centuries, but I think there is a sense in which it is NOT a new, or even distinctly human, phenomenon. The conventional understanding of capitalism is … Continue reading

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Now We are Seven Billion! La, La, La

Despite the evident threat to the well being of our descendants some idiots keep asserting that the “Population bomb theory is a myth“. What complete nonsense! For one thing China’s “economic miracle” comes after 30 years of having a one … Continue reading

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When 99% is really 0.01%

The Tyee ( Wall Street Occupiers, Don’t Forget Ballot Box) says it rather too gently. The protesters and their direct supporters are more like a 0.01%  than 99%, and the other 99% of the real 99% were too stupid to do … Continue reading

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Collapse of Trade as a Phase Transition

Prompted by our visiting friend Geoff (the ‘lucky Geologist’ and author of ‘Green Figs’ and other essays), I have recently finished reading ‘The Fall of Rome – and the End of Civilization’ by Bryan Ward-Perkins (OUP2005), wherein the author responds … Continue reading

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LRB · Joseph Stiglitz · The Non-Existent Hand

LRB · Joseph Stiglitz · The Non-Existent Hand. One comment in particular rang a bell for me. Often the use of a mathematical model is considered  as giving predictions greater credibility when all it really does is ensure that they … Continue reading

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Economics: What went wrong with economics | The Economist

Economics: What went wrong with economics | The Economist

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Yes, There *IS* an Elephant in the Room

AlterNet Article by Chris Hedges Rebuttal by Betsy Hartmann

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Mythical Myths No 7

In “The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons”, Ian Angus claims that the phenomenon commonly called a “tragedy of the commons” is a myth. But he is wrong. Anyone who is aware of the fate of the Atlantic cod … Continue reading

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Hedonic Man

Hedonic Man is the title of a review by Alan Wolfe of two books on the “new economics”. Like Wolfe (and probably countless others) I am sure that the science of economics is sorely lacking, but also like him I … Continue reading

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CO2 Reduction Scenarios (UK example)

Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap [printer-friendly] | The Register

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb

I was led to this Sunday Times profile of Taleb via Arts&Letters Daily. Taleb’s view that market collapses are more sudden and extreme (though less frequent) than rises seems believable to me but is presumably easily checked from the record, … Continue reading

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