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August 20, 2008


Innocent Abroad

Ah, my old friend is back.

Ceteris paribus raro, I fear, and how can you tell when they are?


Surely the logical conclusion is that growth of the economy is only a good thing if inequality is not increasing, or to put it another way, it is more important that the benefits of growth are spread than that the rate is high. So the environmentalist could for instance spin their position as smart growth and people might end up with more of the benefit from improved productivity in the form of increased leisure (not counted as a benefit in GDP).

Bob B

A classic case where the prospect of financial reward can change people's behaviour for the worse has recently emerged in a criminal trial for fraud. As reported, a "non-smoking advisor" received £90,000 from the NHS for claims relating to imaginary clients whom he had persuaded to give up smoking.

This might seem to be something more likely to occur in some banana republic with kleptocratic political leaders located in some distant continent but the fraud was perpetrated on the Kensington and Chelsea primary care trust in our NHS:

Even so, it may surprise some readers to learn that the NHS, in fact, made a financial surplus in the last financial year of £1.7 billion:

Which puts into a more illuminating perspective all those recent reports about wide differences in cancer survival rates between healthcare systems in European countries and proposed closures of NHS hospitals and A&E departments as surplus to requirements.

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